The Jets decided to rest various starters Friday, which provided additional opportunities for roster bubble guys to prove themselves.
This Friday night home matchup against the Eagles was essentially supposed to be the “dress rehearsal” preseason game for the New York Jets — the starters were to see significant playing time.
But weather changed everything.
Storms in the East Rutherford, New Jersey area delayed the game, which was set to kick off at 7:37 p.m. ET, to 8:00 p.m. The rough conditions led Robert Saleh‘s coaching staff to thus pivot its perception of the evening and sit many of the projected starters, including rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.
Young players and individuals on the roster bubble earned notable reps though; likely more reps than they originally planned to assume.
Who stood out (both positively and negatively)? How did some players perform in the final live game prior to the Sept. 12 regular-season opener?
Rookie LB Jamien Sherwood
Jamien Sherwood has a real good chance to assume a starting role within the linebacking corps of this defense. Following Jarrad Davis’ recent ankle injury (which could lead to him returning around the Week 6 bye), the fifth-rounder out of Auburn could be the next man up.
But on Friday night, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the first-year player.
Sherwood missed a number of tackles on the team’s first defensive drive, one of which was on a Boston Scott touchdown catch thrown by veteran Joe Flacco. Jamien’s coverage skills weren’t flawless either; he was in the area of an opening quarter reception that led to a first down on an Eagles touchdown drive.
He’ll learn; he’ll improve; he’ll grow — but Friday’s game didn’t play host to Sherwood’s best performance.
The rookie eventually ended up with four combined tackles, one of which was solo.
QB Josh Johnson
The second-string quarterback role is still undecided, but after watching this game, it may go to Josh Johnson.
The veteran earned the start, played the entire first half, and completed seven of eight passes for 73 yards and a touchdown during that span. The score was a beautiful two-yard pass on a Lawrence Cager fade route to the back right corner of the end zone in the first quarter.
Johnson additionally did a great job leading a 16-play, 68-yard drive in the second quarter that culminated with a 31-yard field goal from Matt Ammendola.
Given his knowledge of the game and experience in the league, Johnson could certainly provide Zach Wilson with mentorship as the team’s QB2.
RB Josh Adams
We talk about Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman, and La’Mical Perine when discussing this Jets running back committee. Sometimes, we additionally introduce Ty Johnson into the conversation.
But can we bring up Josh Adams?
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound back portrayed a number of different skills Friday night against his former team, such as speed, vision, and power.
Adams, a fourth-year player, was a notable part of the aforementioned 16-play drive that led to a Jets field goal. On that possession alone, he rushed for 31 yards on four carries and did a great job taking pressure off Johnson.
Overall, he rushed for 62 yards on 12 carries and crossed the plane on the tying two-point conversion as the game concluded.
Will the 2018 undrafted free agent make the final roster now that training camp and the preseason have concluded?
Rookie TE Kenny Yeboah
What a night for the undrafted free agent.
Kenny Yeboah caught two touchdown passes from reserve quarterback James Morgan, one of which was on a Hail Mary that brought the Jets to within two points as time expired. The ensuing two-point conversion tied the game and led to a 31-31 final score.
Yeboah was most definitely on the roster bubble. Maybe this performance improves his chances of earning a spot on the final 53?