Jets cornerback Javelin Guidry knew he was about to step on a walk over a bed of hot coals last Sunday against Buffalo when rookie Brandin Echols sustained a quad injury late in the first half. At the time, the Green & White was trailing the Bills, 10-3.
Sixty-four seconds remained in the half when Josh Allen's short pass over the middle intended for WR Stefon Diggs was incomplete. Echols, who is expected to miss 3-to-5 weeks, was helped off the field and on trotted Guidry, who immediately felt those hot coals.
Allen went right after the second-year CB who the Jets signed in May 2020 as an undrafted free agent out of Utah. A pass on the left sideline caught by Diggs was ruled incomplete after video review. Undeterred, the Bills' QB directed the exact same play, this time with Diggs catching the 12-yard pass on the left side of the end zone and Buffalo exited the first half with a 17-3 lead.
"Playing against Diggs was a great experience," Guidry said. "He is a top player and I get to see where I stand in this league and compete. He's a great player."
As head coach Robert Saleh said earlier this week, the game turned when the Bills scored at the end of the first half, received the second half kickoff and drove 75 yards in 5 plays for another score, Mike White was intercepted on the first play of the next series and Buffalo needed three plays to score. A 10-3 deficit quickly ballooned to a 31-3 bulge.
"For the most part in that first half, we're playing some good ball," Saleh said. "It was 10-3 with about 1:55 to go, had some big time stops and some bad situations. We get beat on a double move to start the two-minute drive, which sets up a touchdown and so they go in the locker room, it's 17-3, we get lapped, it's 24-3 and then the very next play we have the turnover. They score, which makes it 31-3 and now the game's over. It kind of got, it was a four series sequence there where it kind of got out of hand."
For his part, Guidry took ownership of the Diggs TD catch that started the snowball rolling downhill on the Jets.
"To me, it's just another play that I needed to lock in," he said. "That's every week. That was against top-tier talent. It could be better, staying more lateral, playing off not just staying down, sliding my feet. I'll learn from that and from him.
"You have to quickly move on. Learn from it and come back quick."
He's likely to have that opportunity on Sunday when the Miami Dolphins (3-7) come to MetLife Stadium in the teams' first meeting of the 2021 season. After nine games, the Jets have yet to win against an AFC East opponent (0-3), though the Green & White (2-7) as a 2-2 record at home. The Dolphins have won two straight games since starting the season 1-7. In addition, Miami has won 8 of its last 10 games against the Jets since 2016.
With Echols out last week, Guidry played 50% of the snaps on defense (29) after seeing limited duty in the previous two games. He had a strong game in the OT victory against Tennessee on Oct. 3, taking 85% of the snaps (85 plays), and making 10 tackles (9 solo), drawing praise from Saleh.
"You think about Javelin Guidry, I'm going to pump him up for a second because he doesn't get enough credit, and I go back to Joe [Douglas] an undrafted free agent who's come in here and you think what he played," Saleh said after the Titans game. "He played corner, nickel and dime in one game last week, which is not easy. He's been an absolute stud, and we're very fortunate to have him. ... He's been fantastic."
That versatility has been an asset, and Guidry said that he's comfortable inside, outside and anywhere in between.
"Really, it's the mental aspect," he said. "Outside, you're on an island by yourself. Inside you have the burner responsibility as well as the pass. So it's more like being able to lock in each play, switching mental and being able to execute out there".
Looking ahead to facing the Dolphins, Guidry said: "In practice I play corner and nickel as well, so whatever the coach wants me to do, I'll do it. Whatever they want is fine with me."
See the Top Practice Images from Wednesday of Dolphins Week at 1 Jets Drive