Robert Saleh Discusses Lineup Changes vs. Dolphins
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh decided to tweak the lineup for the team’s Week 11 home game against the Miami Dolphins, but the adjustments didn’t yield any new results.
The struggling Jets fell 24-17 to the Dolphins, moving them to 2-8 on the season. Saleh’s group is now tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans for the worst record in the AFC. Only the Detroit Lions (0-8-1) have fared worse through nine weeks.
Third-stringer Joe Flacco started at quarterback over the struggling Mike White. Zach Wilson remains sidelined as he continues to deal with a sprained PCL.
Per Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets also had Laurent Duvernay-Tardif start at guard instead of Greg Van Roten. On defense, Elijah Riley (safety) Quincy Williams (inside linebacker), Isaiah Dunn (cornerback) got the starts in favor of Jarrod Wilson, Jarrad Davis and Javelin Guidry.
Coach Saleh explained the rationale behind each of the lineup changes.
When it came to Duvernay-Tardif — who was acquired via trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in a trade earlier this month — Saleh said it was done “to see if we can get some more production out of that right guard spot”, per Costello. Duvernay-Tardif played all 60 offensive snaps.
Saleh explained that Davis isn’t fully healthy, so they opted to reduce his workload and help him “build up some game conditioning.” Davis finished the game with 19 snaps.
Saleh added that Riley (64 snaps played) has “put together a couple of good weeks”, and thus decided to give him the start. For Dunn (71 snaps), Saleh cited the desire to have more size to match up against Miami’s pass-catchers.
It’s not clear yet if Saleh will keep Duvernay-Tardifc, Riley, Williams and Dunn as the starters for the team’s Week 12 road game against the Texans (1:00 p.m. EST).
The Jets open that game as a three-point underdog. Fanduel New York is currently offering New York bettors up to $1,000 in risk-free bets.
RB Michael Carter suffers Ankle Sprain
The injury-ravaged Jets were dealt another tough blow in the loss to Miami.
Lead running back and running back standout Michael Carter is expected to miss two to three weeks with a high ankle sprain, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Carter was drafted in the fourth round (107th overall) by the Jets. He is fourth in rushing yards among rookies (430) and second in rushing touchdowns (four).
The North Carolina product has also been highly productive in the passing game, catching 32 passes for 308 yards — good for third most on the team. Only Corey Davis (477 yards) and Elijah Moore (415 yards) have more than Carter.
With Carter sidelined, Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman can expect far more playing time.
The Jets rank just 29th in rushing yards per game, but the quarterback play has left a lot to be desired. Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see how much Saleh leans on the ground game during Carter’s absence.
Zach Wilson Could Return This Week
The banged-up Jets just might get the No. 2 pick from the 2021 Draft back for Sunday’s game against Houston.
Saleh expressed optimism over Wilson’s progress, noting that the 22-year-old “had a really good workout” on Sunday, per DJ Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News.
“He’s being evaluated today,” Saleh said, via Bien-Aime. “We’ll get him through another one tomorrow and be able to evaluate him from there. And then we’ll be able to make a decision Wednesday morning.”
Wilson has missed the Jets’ last four games. The team went 1-3 in that span, with the lone victory coming against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8.
The BYU product is 1-5 as the starter this season. Wilson has completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 1,168 yards and four touchdowns against nine interceptions.
The postseason is a pipe dream for the Jets at this point, but they’re still playing for pride and have the potential to play spoiler in the playoff picture. This team has already defeated two winning teams in the Tennessee Titans (Week 4) and the Bengals.
After visiting the Texans, the Jets will return home for a two-game homestand against two playoff hopefuls in the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints.
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