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Jets Rookie Recap | The Game 'Becoming Pretty Natural' For LB Zaire Barnes

OL Joe Tippmann & RB Israel Abanikanda Sustain Lower Body Injuries


Five of the Jets' seven draft picks were in action Saturday for the Jets' third preseason game as the Green & White fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 13-6, at MetLife Stadium. Below is a recap of how the first-year players performed.

DE Will McDonald IV
The No. 15 selection in the first round of April's NFL Draft, DE Will McDonald IV had a quiet night on the stat sheet without any sacks or tackles. McDonald played 21 snaps (30%) and managed to apply pressure on Buccaneers QB Kyle Trask on multiple occasions.

McDonald flexed his patented spin move in the second quarter, rushing from LDE, which forced Trask to abandon the pocket.

OL Joe Tippmann
The Jets second-round selection (No. 43) from Wisconsin, Joe Tippmann started the game at left guard and transitioned to center in the second quarter. Tippmann, who led the Green & White with 99 preseason snaps over the first two games, sustained a knee injury and played 24 snaps (41%).

With help from Tippmann, Jets running backs averaged 5.1 yards per carry.

RB Israel Abanikanda
Running back Israel Abanikanda sustained a thigh contusion midway through the fourth quarter and did not return.

The Jets' fifth-round pick (No. 143) from the University of Pittsburgh made a hard cut in the hole when his and OL Adam Pankey's legs collided. With help from trainers, Abanikanda left the field without putting any weight on his right leg.

Abanikanda had a quiet first half with one reception and no carries but was explosive in the final two frames. He ran for 30 yards on 4 carries including first-down carries of 13 and 9 yards.

LB Zaire Barnes
Linebacker Zaire Barnes, the Jets' sixth-round pick (No. 184), started and played a majority of the first half and finished with 4 tackles. Barnes played 39 snaps (55%).

"I was just pick picking up on what the offense was trying to run and communicate with the guys," Barnes said. "Making sure they were on the same page and then the second drive, just getting into a groove and playing ball at that point. Yeah, it is all becoming pretty natural."

Heading into the game, Barnes led the NFL with 13 tackles this preseason. The Western Michigan now ranks second with 17 tackles.

CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse & OT Carter Warren
A sixth-round pick No. 204 overall from LSU, CB Jarrick Bernard Converse remains on the active/Physically Unable to Perform list and did not play.

The Jets' fourth-round selection No. 120 overall from the University of Pittsburgh, OT Carter Warren, also did not play.

TE Zack Kuntz
Zack Kuntz, the Jets' seventh-round pick (No. 220) from Old Dominion, had three receptions for 18 yards – both preseason highs. Kuntz played 23 snaps (39%).

At the start of the third quarter, Kuntz caught a pass from QB Tim Boyle in the flat, turned up field and flashed his acceleration to pick up 8 yards and a first down.

See the best photos from the home game against the Bucs during the preseason.

WR Xavier Gipson
In the first quarter, WR Xavier Gipson, an undrafted free agent from Stephen F. Austin, fielded a punt at the 21-yard-line, reversed field and picked up 31 yards before being pushed out of bounds at the Buccaneers' 48-yard-line. The explosive return resulted in a 31-yard field goal and the Jets' first points of the game.

"I saw him shank it a little it and it came a little bit short," Gipson said. "I think he was aiming to the left and I just tried to make a play on the ball. I had some great blocks in front of me and after that, I just followed my own blocks."

WR Jason Brownlee
Jason Brownlee, an undrafted free agent WR from Southern Mississippi, had 4 receptions for 50 yards.

On third down, Zach Wilson hit Jason Brownlee on a slant for 8 yards and a first down. The reception kept the drive alive, and it resulted in a 30-yard field goal. The third-year signal caller and Brownlee have built solid chemistry throughout training camp, and it has translated to the field.

"We have been working really well together in practice," Brownlee said. "So now we have just started to drag it into the game. I think we work well together."

S Trey Dean
Trey Dean, an undrafted free agent S from Florida, led the Jets with 9 tackles and had 2 tackles for loss. Dean started and played 46 snaps (65%), the fourth most among Jets defenders. Dean's 20 tackles this preseason lead the NFL and the Jets.

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