Tonight is the final preseason game. There are plenty of battles to be determined. It is difficult to narrow the focus down to five players, but here are five worth watching.
The injury question is present. Will Petty play after suffering a knee injury Saturday against the Giants? Reading the leaves from comments by both Petty and the coaching staff this week, there seems to be optimism he will suit up. The question is whether he can build on his monster performance in the second half against the Giants. A year ago he followed up a big preseason game against Washington with a clunker. Another big effort can stake a claim to the backup quarterback job and the first crack at starting if Josh McCown falters.
This has not exactly been an encouraging preseason for Hackenberg, but tonight he will see the majority of his playing time against backups. Even if it is a reduced level of competition, a good outing can at least salvage some positive feeling from this preseason and offer some proof he can function in the NFL.
Todd Bowles indicated Ealy will see playing time. While he probably doesn’t have a full grasp of the playbook, Ealy plays a position where a team can simplify assignments. My hunch is that he will make the team, but he can make it a virtual lock with a strong performance.
Something tells me the Jets were not pumping Brooks for information on his former team. The question I have is the extent to which the Jets’ decisions on their 53 man roster will come down to special teams value. The last two years it has not felt to me like they have put much of a premium on maximizing special teams play from their last few roster spots. The results have not been good. Brooks’ value as a player has primarily come from special teams. Will he make plays tonight to earn a roster spot? How much will it matter if he does?
I know it isn’t exactly creative to name the three players the Jets acquired this week in this post, but these three don’t have much time to state their roster cases. One bad snap might do Hennessy in.