Time was of the essence in practice for QB Aaron Rodgers and the Jets' offense Tuesday. Four days before the Jets' final preseason game on the "road" against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium and fewer than three weeks from the regular-season opener, the Green & White held an up-tempo practice that featured precision passing from Rodgers.
"I think we need to get a lot done the next two weeks," Rodgers said. "I think this is when the speed amps up a little bit. Urgency amps up a little bit. And today was a good example of that. We got to go through a carded period. That is when everything is up. There is going to be new stuff and quick signals and more variations and quick adjustments. There is not a wasted rep."
After warmups and individual drills, the team, practicing without pads, quickly went into a situational period in which the offense had the ball on its own 35-yard line and 1:04 remaining in the first half. Tied 10-10 and each side with one timeout, Rodgers completed 4-of-6 passes and guided the offense quickly into field goal range for a would-be 42-yard attempt as time expired.
On the first play of the drive, Rodgers found TE Tyler Conklin on the right sideline for a first down. On the next play, Rodgers hit WR Garrett Wilson on a comebacker along the sideline against CB D.J. Reed. Wilson took the team across the opposing 40-yard line and stepped out of bounds to stop the clock. Before the field-goal try, Rodgers hit Wilson on a drag route. Wilson kneeled between the hashes and gave the special teams unit 16 seconds to get on the field for the try.
In the middle team periods, DL Quinnen Williams caused the interior of the O-Line to breakdown and Rodgers, who will start Saturday in his first preseason action since 2018, improvised. With players falling around his feet, Rodgers hopped off one foot and delivered a strike to Conklin for a first down.
QB Zach Wilson was sharp as well. In the final move-the-ball period, Wilson completed seven straight passes including three for first downs and moved the team to the 30-yard line. Notably, Wilson hit rookie TE Zack Kuntz on a corner route to take the team across the 50-yard line.
Mekhi Becton Running with Starters
For the first time this training camp, Mekhi Becton started at right tackle with Rodgers and the first-team offense. Becton played 28 snaps (47%) in Saturday's preseason game vs the Buccaneers.
"[Becton] looked like a young man that loved being out there and loved being in a game," Saleh said of Saturday's game. "He was finishing blocks. He was showing athleticism, strength, power and movement."
In addition, RG Alijah Vera-Tucker and LG Laken Tomlinson returned to the practice field. Vera-Tucker and Becton fortified the right side of the line and allowed the running backs to break off several runs during the team periods.
During the move the ball period, DE Will McDonald IV attempted to use speed and bend to get around the edge but Becton stonewalled the rookie. RB Michael Carter accelerated through the hole between Vera-Tucker and Becton and got to the second level for a first down. In the final team period, Becton, the No. 11 selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, stood up DL John Franklin-Myers. The extra time allowed for the routes to develop and Rodgers found WR Randall Cobb on a drag.
"We have got to make some noise," Becton said about playing next to Vera-Tucker. "We have got to make our presence felt. That is our big thing right now."
See the best photos of the Jets during Tuesday's practice at 1 Jets Drive.
Joe Tippmann (knee) was injured against Buccaneers, but HC Robert Saleh hopes he is ready for Week 1. Saleh added Israel Abanikanda (thigh contusion) and Kenny Yeboah (hamstring) would be out for a couple of weeks. … Duane Brown was in Houston being evaluated after offseason shoulder surgery. … Carl Lawson (back) and Corey Davis (personal matter) did not practice. On a bootleg, Zach Wilson rolled out and threw deep towards Malik Taylor who adjusted in air to make the grab with blanket coverage by Jamien Sherwood. … John Franklin-Myers swiftly beat Max Mitchell on the edge and blew past Wilson for a would-be sack. …Nick Bawden corralled five catches over the span of practice. …Breece Hall returned to practice last week. Tuesday, he shifted gears after a pair of handoffs in team periods, pausing in the hole momentarily before accelerating through for solid runs. … Greg Zuerlein was 4 of 6, connecting on field-goal attempts from 30, 33 twice and 36. He missed from 41 and 47.