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Notebook | Jets Hopeful T Mekhi Becton and G Wes Schweitzer Return vs. Falcons

Rookie Will McDonald Developing ‘Mental’ Game; Offense Finding Balance Between Pressing & Playing


The Jets plan to evaluate T Mekhi Becton (ankle) and G Wes Schweitzer (calf) in practice Friday in the hope they can play Sunday when New York hosts the Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Their return to the lineup would provide a much-needed boost to an O-line that has employed 13 different linemen in 11 games.

"We tell you guys all the time, we're going to play the best five," offensive line coach and run game coordinator Keith Carter said. "And the way this season has gone, sometimes those decisions aren't made until Friday."

Becton missed the Green & White's Week 12 loss to the Miami, 34-13, with an ankle injury he sustained against Buffalo in Week 11. The Jets listed Becton as a limited participant in practice Wednesday and a full participant Thursday.

If Becton can't go, the Jets added T Duane Brown to the active roster on Nov. 24, and rookie T Carter Warren has continued to impress despite limited experience. Warren, who took 49 snaps vs. Buffalo after he replaced Becton in Week 11, played 58 snaps (100%) against Miami.

"We have full faith in Carter going out there and preforming," HC Robert Saleh said Friday. "He has been doing a really nice job surprisingly. He has such great body control and footwork with regards to his sets and run game. He is only going to get better considering he missed all of OTAs and training camp."

The Jets opened Schweitzer's 21-day practice window Wednesday and he has been limited in practice all week. He sustained a calf injury in Week 8 against the Giants and was placed on injured reserve Oct. 31. He has played in five games this season (1 start) and has taken 81 snaps on offense.

*Pressing vs. Playing *Earlier this week, HC Robert Saleh said that star RB Breece Hall needs to do a better job getting "grimy" yards as opposed to pressing to make a play.

"That means lowering your shoulder, getting dirty, getting grimy, finishing runs and not trying to find ways to bounce and make people miss at the line of scrimmage all the time because these guys are hunting," he said. He added: "When you press, you're going to try to create an explosive every single play and you're going to lose that style of play that makes you special. He's a big back, he's 220 pounds, and he's got elite speed, but he also has elite ability to lower his shoulder and get vertical when he needs to. Once he reconnects to that, I think we'll start seeing him for what we know he is."

Hall, who leads the Jets with 124 carries, 569 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, took to social media to say he welcomes constructive criticism.

"I just took it like if you're not able to call out your best players on offense, you can't really call out anybody," Hall told reporters Thursday. "Last week I said I take pride in being the 'A' player, so if I get called out you can't be in your feelings about it or you can't be sad about it, it just is what it is. You just have to be better and just take the yards when they are given."

The Jets have struggled to establish a rushing attack lately. The offense averages 93.4 rushing yards per game, which ranks No. 27. It ranked No. 12 in Weeks 1-7 (117.5 yds/g) and last in the league in Weeks 8-12 (64.4). The Green & White have dealt with multiple offensive line combinations and Hall has been balancing trying to make a play to spark the offense and making the right play.

"It's hard," he said. "Especially when you know the potential and the potential that you can have with our great defense and the potential that our offense has. We get to a point where if you are not moving the ball and you are trying to make a play and for [offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett], he is probably trying to make that perfect call. It is one of those things where you have to stay true to the foundation of the offense and keep chipping away at it."

Jets players will wear special cleats to raise awareness for different causes in the community against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13.

*Will McDonald's Development *Jets rookie DE Will McDonald has impressed with his physical traits early in the year cumulating a 0.5 sack, 7 tackles and 1 forced fumble in 9 games. To get to the next level, he wants to home in on developing the cerebral part of his game.

"I think my game continues to develop at a high level as long as I keep on keying the right things and getting off the ball," McDonald said. "If I am being honest, if I keep learning the mental side, everything will take care of itself."

In the past two games, McDonald has played 26 total snaps – including a season-high 14 against Miami – and registered 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 QB hits and 3 pressures.

"I have just been taking in more information recently," McDonald said. "Seeing how the tackles operate and how they kick and set and all that stuff. It is all just becoming more normal. With help from the guys on the D-line, I am learning a lot more stuff and chasing my opportunities."

In Week 13 against the Falcons, McDonald will be tasked with slowing down familiar opponent in Atlanta's lead rusher Bijan Robinson, the No. 8 selection in April's NFL Draft out of Texas.

In McDonald's final season at Iowa State (2022), the Longhorns defeated the Cyclones, 24-21. McDonald registered 3 tackles and a sack while Robinson has 176 all-purpose yards.

"He is shifty and fast," McDonald said. "I learned you have to rally to the ball. Definitely a great running back. It will be cool to see how we handle him."

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