Don’t expect to see many of the New York Jets’ biggest names against the Atlanta Falcons tonight
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh said that he was “torn” on whether to play the team’s starters in their second preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Well, it appears that Saleh has made his decision.
According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the Jets are planning to rest most, if not all of their starters tonight.
You won't see many, if any starters tonight for the #Jets, which shifts the spotlight to "bubble" players. Former draft picks fighting for roster spots:
WR Denzel Mims, RB La'Mical Perine, TE Trevon Wesco, S Ashtyn Davis, DE Jabari Zuniga and DT Jonathan Marshall.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 22, 2022
Teams usually use the second-to-last preseason game as a dress rehearsal of sorts in which the starters play a significant amount of reps (typically staying in for most or all of the first half), but in the wake of the Zach Wilson bullet-dodge, the Jets are electing to play it safe.
It’s a smart move for the Jets, who suffered from the second-most Adjusted Games Lost due to injury in the 2021 season behind only the Baltimore Ravens (coincidentally, their Week 1 opponents in 2022). New York has struggled mightily with staying healthy over the past few years. Much of that is due simply to bad luck, but there are a few small things that teams can do to maximize their luck in that department, and resting starters in the preseason is one of them.
This game will be all about the backups who are fighting for roster spots or a higher position on the depth chart. Teams are required to cut down from 85 to 80 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, so for a few players, this will be their final game as a Jet (for the time being, at least).
Tonight’s game kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and will be televised nationally on ESPN. It marks the Jets’ first game at MetLife Stadium since their close loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January.