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Trevor Siemian Starts at QB, Defense May Hold Key to Jets' Battle with Commanders

Edge Rusher Carl Lawson Active; WR Randall Cobb, T Duane Brown Among Green & White Inactives

16x9 inactives

The Jets and the Washington Commanders are battling for some interconference respect, some pride for the rest of 2023 and some momentum heading into the 2024 season when the teams tangle in the Jets' last home game of the season today at MetLife Stadium.

The Commanders (4-10) are the fourth and final NFC East foe the Jets (5-9) will face this year, and both teams are banged up and in search of a few if not several victories over the final three regular-season weekends to take them into their offseasons.

The Jets, with the returns of some young offensive linemen, will have a different OL alignment again in front of their QB depth chart, with head coach Robert Saleh declaring Friday that rookie Carter Warren will play and will start at RT after missing the past two games with a hip injury.

The line will be protecting a QB depth chart that will also be different, with Trevor Siemian getting the start in place of Zach Wilson, still in the NFL's concussion protocol, and officially backed up by recently signed Brett Rypien. Siemian has taken 59 snaps in two games this season but he'll be getting only his second Jets start and his first since his first stint in green and white in 2019 Game 2 vs. Cleveland.

Washington's struggling offense got further bad news late this week with the injuries to Charles Leno, starting LT for 13 of the Commanders' 14 games this season, and Tyler Larsen, their starting center for the past seven games, which will force both to the inactive list. Also inactive will be leading rusher Brian Robinson for the second game with a hamstring injury.

See photos the Jets arriving at MetLife Stadium for the final home game of the 2023 season.

QB Sam Howell is an NFL leader in several categories. One of them, in light of Robinson's injury, is that he's a strong rusher that the Jets will have to take into account — his 6.2 yards/carry is the best average among all QBs with at least 40 carries this season. But Howell also is tied for the lead among the league's QBs in number of interceptions thrown (15) and easily leads the league in number of times sacked (59).

With both teams sitting low in the NFL rankings in many offensive categories, and the Commanders also at or near the bottom in defensive rankings, the Jets D could be the difference maker. The unit is still manned by last season's three Pro Bowl players in DL Quinnen Williams, LB C.J. Mosley and CB Sauce Gardner, along with Pro Bowl hopefuls LB Quincy Williams and CB D.J. Reed and edge rushers and team-leading sackers Jermaine Johnson and Bryce Hall. Carl Lawson will be available for the defensive effort. He is active for the first time in six games.

The Jets still have the opportunity to better last year's 7-10 record in Saleh's second season at the helm with wins over Washington, at Cleveland on Thursday night and at New England in the season finale. But Saleh is never looking that far ahead.

"I'm really just focusing on Washington," Saleh said this past week. "We coach in the moment. We coach to win football games."

The Jets' seven-player inactive list for today's game:

  • QB Zach Wilson
  • QB Aaron Rodgers
  • WR Randall Cobb
  • CB Bryce Hall
  • FB Nick Bawden
  • OL Austin Deculus
  • T Duane Brown

And this is the Commanders' seven-man inactive list:

  • RB Brian Robinson
  • CB Kyu Blu Kelly
  • DE Andre Jones
  • C Tyler Larsen
  • T Charles Leno
  • OL Nolan Laufenberg
  • WR Mitchell Tinsley

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