The Jets first-team defense got a taste of vintage Aaron Rodgers at practice Wednesday. In a hurry-up situation to begin the first team period, the four-time MVP led a 7-play 62-yard drive capped by a pinpoint touchdown pass to WR Allen Lazard.
"Those moments are going to come up huge for us at some point in the season," WR Randall Cobb said. "In the two-minute, you win or lose games in those drills and those situations. It is very important for us to continue to mold and bond together and get on the same page with those situations and the plays that will need to be made in those situations to win."
Trailing 22-17 in the fourth quarter with one timeout and 1:17 remaining, the offense started on its own 38-yard-line. After an incompletion on the first play, Rodgers threw a pass over the middle to TE Tyler Conklin for a first down. Rodgers got the team up to the line quickly and attempted to throw a slant to Lazard, but it was broken up by S Jordan Whitehead and nickel CB Michael Carter II. Rodgers followed that by scrambling for a first down before he went out of bounds.
After a draw to RB Michael Carter with 48 seconds remaining and an incomplete pass intended for WR Garrett Wilson down the sideline with S Tony Adams and CB D.J. Reed in coverage, Rodgers dropped back, rolled to his right and floated a perfect pass over the outstretched arm of All-Pro CB Sauce Gardner and into Lazard's hands in the back of the end zone.
Gardner, who was called for pass interference after holding Lazard's jersey, leaped up and called for the former Packers receiver to be ruled out of bounds. The AP Defensive Rookie of the Year did not win his case and the crowd erupted.
Opportunity at Wide Receiver
Veteran WR Corey Davis announced Wednesday via Instagram that he is stepping away from football. Davis's absence results in opportunity for other Jets wideouts down the depth chart.
"It is an opportunity for somebody else to step up in the next week and a half," HC Robert Saleh said. "It opens the door for someone who may have been on the outside looking in that now has a chance to push the door open. You lose a tremendous leader and example in Corey. A tremendous veteran presence, but it does open the door."
The Jets revamped the wide receiver room this offseason around the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson. The Green & White signed Rodgers' former teammates in Green Bay, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Malik Taylor, and added Mecole Hardman, a two-time Super Bowl Champion with the Chiefs. In addition, rookies WR Jason Brownlee and Xavier Gipson have stood out in the first two preseason games. Brownlee leads the team with 77 yards and 8 receptions while Gipson has flashed on special teams. He had a 31-yard punt return against the Buccaneers and a 45-yard kick return against the Browns.
See the best photos of the Jets during Tuesday's practice at 1 Jets Drive.
Pro Bowl LT Duane Brown returned to the practice field and worked out on a separate field after being activated off the physically unable to perform list. … Rookies Israel Abanikanda (thigh contusion) &Carter Warrenalso worked out off to the side. … Zach Wilson led the second-team offense through the same situation Aaron Rodgers and the first-team offense scored in. Wilson completed all six of his passes and guided the Jets to the opposing 25-yard line. Wilson completed two passes to Alex Erickson for first downs including a beautiful back-shoulder pass on the sideline. However, the clock ran out after Zonovan Knight got stopped in bounds after a short reception. … In the middle periods, Garrett Wilson ran a corner route and Rodgers hit him for a chunk gain. … Tim Boyle fired a strike over the middle of the field to rookie Zack Kuntz for a first down … Wilson attempted to connect with Kuntz on an intermediate route, but Trey Dean tipped the pass up in the air andMarquis Watersnearly came up with the interception.