Over the weekend, Jets head coach Robert Saleh revealed that he was considering sitting starters for the second preseason game. While this would normally be the dress rehearsal for starters, we saw the Falcons do pretty much exactly that a year ago, sitting their starters after what they viewed as helpful joint practices with the Dolphins.
With injuries piling up for New York and the team feeling good about how they fared against the Falcons in joint practices, the Jets will indeed pull the plug on rolling out their full starting lineup tonight.
This is unlikely to change Arthur Smith’s plans dramatically, though he may well scale back time for the starters if New York is fielding their B team to kick things off. After last year’s slow start to the regular season, Smith vowed to play starters as long as they’re healthy, and chances are good Marcus Mariota, Grady Jarrett, and so on will get at least one series out there as a tune up. We’ll update this story if we hear otherwise.
This is disappointing in a way, because the Jets have enough talent on both sides of the ball to provide a challenge for the Falcons, and I was looking forward to seeing how Atlanta’s lines would hold up against New York. It still makes sense to me to give your starters their time before handing the keys over to Desmond Ridder and company because playing time is playing time, and Atlanta might have already been inclined to dial back starters’ reps against the Jaguars in the preseason finale on a short week of rest. We’ll see what they ultimately do soon enough, as kickoff is just over six hours away.