The first, preceding "were" implies one in the place that you suggest, which was omitted for reasons of brevity and elegance, and I consider that it would not necessarily be "better".
There are six boys in my family. One is fairhaired, two are dark, and six (are) redheads.
The second "are" above may be omitted but implied and understood in the above example.
Beginning learners should avoid such tricks however, until they feel confident about the basics of English.