The start of Sunday’s game between the Jets and the Chiefs was notable because the Jets were without two starters on defense. Muhammad Wilkerson sat out the first quarter, while Darron Lee was not even active.
Todd Bowles provided some information after the game.
Todd Bowles on the Wilkerson/Lee discipline: "We have rules. We make rules. We have coaching decisions. We move on." ... He also said the two punishments were not related.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) December 3, 2017
Bowles says the Lee & Wilkerson situations were not related. Seperate situations— Jonas Schwartz (@Jonas_SNY) December 3, 2017
Connor Hughes discovered some of the specifics.
Source: #Jets benched Darron Lee because he was late to practice on Saturday. Muhammad Wilkerson was late to a meeting.— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) December 3, 2017
More here: https://t.co/4Imxim2xCm
The meeting Muhammad Wilkerson showed up late to was also on Saturday, per source.— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) December 3, 2017
Lee late to the practice, which is why he was inactive. Wilkerson late to meeting, which is why he was only docked a quarter. https://t.co/w9n1klarU1
Discipline is always a difficult balance for a coach. If things like this don’t work out, the coach gets accused of being too heavy handed and making mountains out of molehills. If the coach doesn’t address lateness, people complain there is no accountability on the team. Fortunately for the Jets, they won this game without Lee and Wilkerson (for a quarter).
It is disappointing to see this happen with Lee. Hopefully he learns going forward.
For Wilkerson we are past teachable moments. This is the third consecutive season in which he has been benched for the first quarter of a game for being late to a meeting. He is almost assured of being a cap casualty after the season for performance issues, and this is another argument for the move.