The Jets will be without RG Wes Schweitzer (calf) and WR Jason Brownlee (ankle) for Sunday's game against the Texans at MetLife Stadium, which will shake up the offensive line for the ninth straight week.
"Last year was carnage and I don't know if there's another word for [this year]," HC Robert Saleh said of the shuffling up front. "But I do want to say this about our O-line – the guys are working their tails off. There are a lot of guys who are taking the field who just got here and are learning the scheme, grinding to put their best foot forward and put together good tape.
"Love the five we have lining up. I think they have a chance to be pretty good. Just need to get them some continuity so they can figure out how to work together and become the group we think they can be."
RB Breece Hall (ankle) and DL John Franklin-Myers (ankle) werelimited in Friday's practice, but Saleh feels good about Hall's availability for the game. Saleh added Allen Lazard's playing time would increase with Brownlee, who's started the last two games, out of the lineup.
"Lazard has been doing a good job the last couple of weeks," Saleh said. "This will be a really good opportunity for him to flex some muscle."
Familiar Faces in H-Town
While there's a San Francisco connection between the coaching staffs in Sunday's game, Houston has a handful of players who wore green and white – LB Blake Cashman, DL Sheldon Rankins, T George Fant, LB Neville Hewitt, K Matt Ammendola (practice squad) and most recently, S Adrian Amos, who was released from the Jets Dec. 2.
Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said the defense would tweak some calls because of Amos' familiarity with the group after playing 11 games for the Jets this season.
"There are little things, but it's things that we do anyway," he said. "A lot of the times you will play teams that are familiar with you from a coaching perspective, sometimes from a player's perspective like we have this particular week with Amos, but it's not a whole lot. It's like hand signals and maybe a little bit of verbiage, but not much."
Cashman is having a standout year for the Texans. He's Pro Football Focus' third-best linebacker and has 84 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 interception, and 5 pass defenses.
"We liked Blake a lot," Saleh said. He added: "He's got a lot of speed. He's very smart. Even with us in that one year, he knew all three spots. We were very comfortable putting him in the game if need be. Just couldn't get to keep him healthy. Really happy for him. Obviously, whatever the water is in Houston, he's drinking it the right way and he's been able to stay healthy. He's making a difference over there. He's really a very talented young man."
See all of the best photos from Week 14 practices in preparation for the game against the Houston Texans.
2022 NFL Draft Rewind
In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Texans selected CB Derek Stingley Jr. No. 3 and the Jets picked CB Sauce Gardner No. 4. Gardner was named a Pro Bowler, first team All-Pro and the Defensive Rookie of the Year last season.
Stingley has started to emerge over the last three games after missing Weeks 3-8 with a hamstring injury. Over those three games, he has a team-leading 4 interceptions and 8 pass defenses in that span.
"We were able to access some of [Stingley's] practice tape to see the one on ones," Ulbrich said of the pre-draft process. "I remember one on ones between him and Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson was just something to behold because he absolutely held his own and probably won more battles than he didn't. Both guys [Stingley and Gardner] we were extremely excited about, but definitely we got the guy that we wanted."