The Jets will again shuffle the deck along the offensive line for Sunday's game against the Raiders for what will likely be their sixth starting offensive line combination.
"We have a good plan," HC Robert Saleh said. "The individual pieces are on our offensive line, I love all of them. I just wish you would get some continuity, so they can play together and learn how to play off one another. We love the five that are lining up, but we just need time for them to get that continuity."
Saleh ruled out T Billy Turner, who played right tackle against the Chargers, because of a finger injury that he sustained in Monday's game that required surgery. Turner is expected to return as soon as next week. Max Mitchell could kick back out from guard, a position he debuted at Monday night, to RT.
If the Jets elect to keep Mitchell at guard, the options at tackle include Dennis Kelly, who has played in 130 NFL games and started 54, and rookie Carter Warren. If Mitchell moves back to tackle, guard options are Xavier Newman, who took 46 snaps against the Giants (10 at right guard, 36 at center) and veteran Pro Bowl G Rodger Saffold, who joined the practice squad last week.
Second-round pick Joe Tippmann is slated to start his second game at center after playing right guard in his first four games earlier this season. The Jets let up a season-high 8 sacks last week against the Chargers, but OL coach Keith Carter was encouraged with by Tippmann's performance.
"What I'm most proud about him is from the start of the week, just making calls, recognizing defenses and getting us in the right spot," he said. "From where he started to where he finished was awesome. And I think he's taken even another step this week. Sometimes as a rookie, you're a little hesitant to take control and take command out there, and he's really kind of getting comfortable and in his groove. So that's been really encouraging."
An Opportunity to Fix Offensive Woes
After not finding the end zone Monday night, WR Garrett Wilson said the team is relishing the opportunity for redemption under the lights of a primetime matchup.
"We feel like there's momentum that would come with that, that we need," Wilson said. "We need every bit of that right now. I keep saying we're excited, but we really are excited at that opportunity to do it in front of a good amount of people watching and having a chance to prove the world wrong."
The second-year wideout is coming off his three highest season totals, but the Green & White has not found the end zone through the air since Week 4. The offense, which ranks 30th with 16.5 points per game, is waiting for its breakout.
"It feels like it's been sacred," Wilson said of the end zone. "We have to go get it, we have to make it happen and that's the mindset – how can we make that happen. We feel like if we do our part on offense, we'll be in a good spot at the end of the day. We haven't seen that side of the Jets yet, we haven't shown that to the world. To go out and do it would be huge. We have aspirations and we talk about it, but doing it on Sundays are a whole other challenge. We're excited to have another opportunity to do it this weekend."
See photos of the Jets during Friday afternoon's practice before heading to Las Vegas.
'Madd' Maxx Crosby More than a Pass Rusher
The Raiders have the NFL's second-worst run defense, allowing 138.7 yards per game. While Jets QB Zach Wilson will be wary of Raiders Pro Bowl DE Maxx Crosby (9.5 sacks), so will RB Breece Hall. Crosby's 13 tackles for loss are tied for first in the NFL and he could become the fourth player in NFL history to lead the league in TFL in back-to-back years (22 in 2022).
"He's really good," Hall said. "He's good at shooting gaps before guys can get to him and stuff like that. It's kind of cool to watch him play. He goes hard every play. He doesn't take a play off. You just have to hope he doesn't get to the ball when you get the ball."