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Jets’ Robert Saleh waffles on whether to play starters vs. Falcons

Whether or not the Jets play their starters Monday in opposition to the Falcons may rely on which facet of the mattress head coach Robert Saleh wakes up that morning.

Saleh sounded torn Saturday on whether to play the starters, flip the complete recreation over to the backups or mix-and-match. The risk-reward of preseason video games isn’t lost on the Jets, who withheld defensive stars C.J. Mosley and Carl Lawson based mostly on Saleh’s last-minute resolution final week, however nonetheless lost quarterback Zach Wilson to a knee harm.

“I wake up one day and I’m like, ‘OK they’re going to play.’ The next day I wake up and they’re not going to play,” Saleh stated. “I believe this one is totally different as a result of it’s ‘Monday Night Football’ and we’re such a younger group that [for] lots of guys, that is what you dream of.

“You never want to make a game bigger than it needs to be, but there’s still that human aspect in terms of how they grew up and how people view Monday night — and the fact that it’s the only game on TV [with] all their peers watching.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh looks on during practice at training camp in Florham Park, N.J.
Jets coach Robert Saleh appears to be like on throughout follow.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

One year in the past, after shedding Lawson to a season-ending torn Achilles tendon throughout joint practices in opposition to the Packers, the Jets nonetheless performed their starters for many of the first half in Week 2 of the preseason. The Jets held a second joint follow Saturday with the Falcons — and that may be sufficient to persuade Saleh to relaxation the starters, together with quarterback Joe Flacco, who has stepped in for Wilson.

“Normally with these joint practices, you don’t want to play in a game because you feel like you’ve gotten a heavy workload,” Saleh stated. “It’s like bloodshed this week. So far so good, as opposed to last year.”

Why even contemplate risking it?

“The biggest thing for me is it’s a great opportunity to give our guys,” Saleh stated, “to go through the mental aspect of a heightened environment.”

Safety Jordan Whitehead praised the worth of joint practices, however stated “it speeds up when you get into the game, so you definitely need some reps to get ready for the season.”


LT Duane Brown, who agreed to phrases with the Jets on Aug. 11 and joined the group Monday, nonetheless hasn’t practiced in group intervals.

“Expecting Duane to be back to getting reps next week,” Saleh stated of the 15-year veteran.

Is that sufficient time to be prepared for the Sept. 11 regular-season opener?

“I think so,” Saleh stated. “He’s in the meetings. He is going through all of the walk-throughs.”


The NFL issued a $10,609 fantastic to LB Quincy Williams for his late hit out of bounds on Eagles QB Jalen Hurts of their recreation final week, in accordance to NFL Network.

“Some guys are deliberate, some guys aren’t, and I think Quincy is not a cheap-shot guy,” Saleh stated earlier this week. “He made a mistake. We’ll talk about it in between series and talk about it in the film room afterwards, but he knows better.”

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