Although the Jets had a number of injured players not practicing Sunday night, they got some good news on both the offensive and defensive fronts at MetLife Stadium. Center Ryan Kalil, who ended his brief retirement when he signed with the Green & White two weeks ago, participated in team drills for the first time and is expected to play Saturday vs. the Saints.
"We're hoping to be able to. We'd love to get him in there for a few series," said head coach Adam Gase. "We'll kind of see how this week goes, but that's the direction we're heading."
The 34-year-old Kalil, who did airmail one shotgun snap over Sam Darnold's head, is still absorbing the offense and making the transition from the classroom to the field.
"It felt good, it was exciting. Obviously a little rusty. Not rusty, but playing slow," he said. "I don't quite have all the plays down yet, so it's hard to not be able to come off the ball and then the cadence is different to what I'm used to. I just have to get used to that, I had a couple bad snaps because of it. But that'll all come with reps, so we'll just keep reppin' that stuff and then we'll be good."
Third-year safety Jamal Adams got his partner, Marcus Maye, back in the fold as we saw the two work in the same backfield for the first time since last November. Maye, who was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list last week, was a full-go Sunday as he ditched the red non-contact pinnie from last week.
"He's looking good. Today was his first full day, obviously. Getting back out there, having him in the back end, we feed off each other," Adams said. "But at the end of the day, we want to stay on the field together. We want to fly around and make plays."
See the Best Photos from Sunday Evening's Practice at MetLife Stadium
Hewitt Takes Over at Will 'Backer
After placing veteran linebacker Avery Williamson on injured reserve Saturday, the Jets' first-team defense took to the field with Neville Hewitt at weakside linebacker. Williamson injured his knee defending a pass late in the second stanza of the Jets' win over the Falcons, colliding with cornerback Tevaughn Campbell. He was in the game to help Hewitt at the Mike 'backer spot.
"We wanted Avery to be in there because Neville would be in there with a guy that's a starter," Gase said. "Just looking back on it, hindsight is 20/20. I would've gotten him out a series earlier. I've talked with him and that's on me. I'm the one that has to make the call and get him out of there. We didn't and it's a shame because he was having a good camp."
Hewitt, in his fifth season out of Marshall, had five tackles against the Falcons. Last season, the 6'2", 234-pounder appeared in 16 games for the Jets and started the final four contests, tallying 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks in that timespan. Gase said the club will examine its options there and Hewitt was the first player through.
The Jets won't rush LG Kelechi Osemele (pec strain) back into the lineup and RG Brian Winters remains day-to-day with a shoulder injury. Gase liked the performance of veteran fill-ins Alex Lewis and Tom Compton respectively and that pair figures to be in with the ones against the Saints.
"KO looks like he's going to start bugging me about going out to practice this week, but as of right now, I don't have plans for those two guys playing," Gase said. "I really liked how the two guys who filled in for them played this last game. I think Alex needs more reps. He was kind of on a pitch count because he really hasn't had a ton of practice and both of those guys did a great job in the game."
For the first time in camp, Gase had his club work on overtime situations. In the matchup of the first teams, Darnold got a huge 38-yard pick-up to Jamison Crowder as his slot receiver got free over the middle on a slant. The drive would eventually stall before K Taylor Bertolet connected on a 46-yard field goal. Bertolet, who missed a pair of extra points in Atlanta, rebounded this evening after missing his first kick and was perfect from there.
"Right now, that's what we're doing," Gase said. "He's going to be our kicker."
Leading the second-team offense, veteran backup Trevor Siemian connected four times to veteran Daniel Brown and had his group inside the 20. But OLB Frankie Luvu helped put an end to the night's festivities, batting a Siemian pass into the hands of ILB Anthony Wint. The Florida International product had clear sailing the rest of the way and his pick-six covered more than 75 yards.
Deontay Burnett, who had a touchdown reception against the Falcons, had the catch of the night in a red-zone drill. After Siemian sprinted left, Burnett pulled in an outstanding one-handed catch as he crossed the pylon. Le'Veon Bell, who won't play in the preseason, appeared in midseason form on a 9-yard scoring run… After a drop, Quincy Enunwa made a pair of nice catches on Campbell. Later, Campbell prevented a Darnold score to the big target with a pass defense… RT Brandon Shell (knee), LBs Blake Cashman (calf/hamstring), Harvey Langi (knee) and Jamey Mosley (knee), WR Jeff Smith, CBs Arthur Maulet and Kyron Brown (hamstring) and DL Justin Alexandre all did not practice.