The Jets are listing only three players as "Will Not Play" for their 2017 preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium tonight.
The three who will sit out the festivities are RBs Matt Forte and Bilal Powell and LB Lorenzo Mauldin. All have been working their way back from injuries earlier in training camp. At RB, rookie Elijah McGuire, Romar Morris, Jordan Todman and Marcus Murphy will carry the load for the offense.
That leaves by our count 87 players to take the field in head coach Todd Bowles' third preseason opener as the Green & White head coach. The three that many fans want to see fight it out are the quarterbacks, Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.
Bowles hasn't announced a starter or rotation for tonight's game. The pressbox depth chart lists McCown-Hackenberg-Petty as 1-2-3. But as Bowles said Thursday, "They're all pretty even right now" and that reporters "can interpret absolutely nothing" as to who he chooses to take the first snaps of the game.
Two other players on the fans' radar will be rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. They are listed as the starting safeties, which brings up a remarkable bit of trivia: From 1975-2016, only two rookies have started a preseason opener for the Jets — Darrol Ray in 1980 and Erik Coleman in 2004. Tonight the Jets are set to start two rookie in the deep middle in the same game.
Bowles has designated four captains for tonight's game: guards James Carpenter and Brian Winters, defensive lineman Steve McLendon and linebacker Demario Davis.
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The Jets are wearing their green jerseys and white pants for the game. They won both games in green/white in the 2015 preseason but lost both games in green/white (Giants and Eagles) last summer. The Titans are in their white jerseys and light blue pants.
This will be the first time the Jets will be playing a true home game in the preseason against the Titans. The teams have met 14 times previously, but seven games were at neutral sites and seven were Houston Oilers home games.
The last time the teams met in the preseason was in Jackson, MS, in 1996, with the Oilers prevailing, 31-13. The last time they met in the regular season was at MetLife in 2015, when the Jets trounced the Titans, 30-8, in then-rookie QB Marcus Mariota's 11th pro start. Mariota has been announced as the starter for the visitors in his first game action since breaking his fibula late last season.