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Notebook | Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed Cleared to Play vs. Giants

Saquon Barkley the ‘Engine’ of Giants Offense, Garrett Wilson Says Deonta Banks has ‘All the Physical Tools’


After the Jets beat the Eagles without their starting cornerbacks, CBs Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed have both cleared concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Giants.

"It does allow flexibility on the defense and allows you to do a couple things that you normally wouldn't without those two guys," HC Robert Saleh said.

As far as other injuries, Saleh ruled out rookie OL Joe Tippmann (quad) and said WR Irvin Charles (shoulder), who has been the team's starting gunner without Justin Hardee and Brandin Echols, is doubtful.

Echols, however, is slated to return from a hamstring injury he sustained against the Chiefs in Week 4.

Gardner and Reed will line up against a Giants receiving group that features TE Darren Waller, whose 35 catches and 380 yards lead the team. Waller, acquired in an offseason trade with the Raiders, is coming off a season-high 98 yards and his first score with his new team. He also had 7 catches from backup QB Tyrod Taylor, who has started each of the last two games for Daniel Jones (neck). Jones has been limited in practice this week and was ruled out Friday.

"The advantageous part of this scenario is I think both quarterbacks are very similar," DC Jeff Ulbrich said. "They're both exceptional athletes who can beat you with their arm and their legs. I think they kind of see the field the same way. I think they operate the same way, the same sort of style, so that's the big one."

The Saquon Barkley Effect
The Giants offense has gotten off to a slow start this season and ranks last in scoring (12.1 pts/g). However, they got their "home run hitter" back in Week 5, RB Saquon Barkley, and has been an improved attack the past two games.

Barkley sustained a high ankle sprain against the Cardinals in Week 2 and missed the next two weeks before returning against the Bills in Week 5.

In the three games Barkley missed, the Giants averaged 75.3 yards on the ground, 10.5 points and went on a three-game skid. In the four matchups Barkley has been active, the Giants have averaged 118.2 rush yards per game, 13.5 points and have had a 2-2 record.

"He's extremely talented," Saleh said. "He's explosive, he's fast, he makes people miss. He's the engine that makes their offense go and I don't think it's a coincidence that over the last two weeks that he's been back, their offense has looked the most productive it's been all season, and he's a hell of a football player."

Barkley has rushed for 284 yards (3.8 yard per attempt) and 1 touchdown and added 16 receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns this season.

With the Giants starting Taylor for the third straight week, they will most likely lean on their dynamic back.

"He has got it all," Jeff Ulbrich said of Barkley. "He has got vision, he's got great feet, exceptional movement, explosiveness. At the same time, he is a 230-pound guy that runs like a 230-pound man, so he is challenging in every way."

See photos of the Jets during Week 8 practices in preparation for Sunday's game against the Giants.

Garrett Wilson-Deonta Banks
Jets WR Garrett Wilson will line up against a familiar foe in Giants rookie CB Deonta Banks Sunday. While playing for Maryland in 2019, Banks, the No. 23 selection in April's NFL Draft, went up against Wilson and Ohio State and left an impression on the NFL's 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

"I have been playing against him for a while and he's a great player," Wilson said. "He is physical, and he's got all the athleticism. He has got a lot of physical tools. His technique has only gotten even better. I went against him, and I watched him play against Ohio State last year. He plays the ball well and he talks trash just like I like too."

Banks has started seven games for the Giants and registered 5 pass defenses and 23 tackles. Wilson has posted 32 receptions for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns in six games.

In the pair's matchup in 2019, Wilson had 4 receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown and the Buckeyes won 73-14. Banks, just a freshman, started and registered 2 tackles and a pass defense.

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