Tonight the Jets play their third game of the 2019 preseason against the New Orleans Saints. This is the game where we will see the starters for the longest. It will also likely be the last time we see the starters in the preseason.
Here are five questions I have going in.
- Can the Jets avoid the injury bug?
Last week’s game against Atlanta was a reminder that the most lasting impact of preseason tends to be injuries. The Jets lost starting linebacker Avery Williamson for the season with a knee injury. Ideally the team will play well, but poor preseason performances can be overcome. Serious injuries impact the team into the season.
2. How will Ryan Kalil look?
The veteran center is set to make his Jets debut tonight. His late signing put him on a different training schedule from the rest of the team. Even tonight he is unlikely to play as long as the other starters. We will get our first look at his current conditioning level, his comfort with Sam Darnold, and his grasp of Jets blocking schemes.
3. Can Neville Hewitt stake a claim to a starting linebacker job?
Williamson’s spot will need to be filled in the lineup. Hewitt on paper seems like one of the top contenders. Another contender, Blake Cashman, is recovering from an injury. This could be a golden opportunity for Hewitt to show the Jets he deserves playing time, and the team doesn’t need to look for outside help at linebacker.
4. Can the cornerbacks show anything?
This has been a spot of deep concern all offseason, and that was before the Jets suffered multiple injuries at the position. This team is a land of opportunity for unproven corners looking to claim playing time. The Jets don’t have any sure things at corner. That means everybody has a chance to earn a role. Last week’s performances didn’t inspire confidence? Can things improve this week?
5. Can Taylor Bertolet show he belongs in the NFL?
Bertolet squandered an opportunity last week, missing a pair of extra points in his Jets debut. Time might be running out on him. In the next week or so, numerous kickers will be cut across the NFL. The Jets will have other options. He needs to convince the Jets he can kick on this level.