As we’re coming closer to the Week 1 Bengals vs Jets game, Gang Green could be without their quarterback of the defense, linebacker David Harris.
Throughout the week, Gang Green has been practicing thoroughly in preparation for the Bengals vs Jets Week 1 season opener. All throughout the week, questions surfaced surrounding the availability of some of their top talent for Sunday’s match up.
Rookie outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins has been ruled out by head coach Todd Bowles and he also stated that the status of linebacker David Harris. At this point in time, it’s currently “up in the air” due to a shoulder bruise.
Under former head coach Rex Ryan, Harris took over the role of “quarterbacking the defense” as Ryan would say once safety Jim Leonhard moved on. Harris has been in this role since 2011 and has earned the respect from his fellow players, coaches, and others around the NFL. If Harris is unable to go on Sunday, the Jets’ defense will be in trouble. You can’t sugarcoat that statement.
Many are wondering how can this Jets’ defensive unit be in trouble when they will still have the likes of defensive ends Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams active along with other core players such as cornerback Darrelle Revis?
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Having never made a Pro Bowl, not many people realize just how great Harris is and how important he is to the defense.
Harris led the Jets in tackles last year for the seventh consecutive season with 108.
Every year Harris is a solid contributor to this team and apart from Jets fans being aware of this, it goes unnoticed by the rest of the NFL.
Lee had a productive preseason appearing mostly with the second and third units with Bowles’ plan this season is to throw Lee in with the starters during games with specific sub packages. The kind that adheres to his unique skill set. This plan could backfire if Lee is forced to start in place of Harris.
If this is just for one game, then there’s positives and negatives to look at. Lee would benefit from the experience playing with the starters. However, he could also struggle against some of the Bengals’ stout offensive linemen which include 2015 Pro Bowl offensive tackle, Andrew Whitworth.
It’s looking more likely that Harris’ availability will be a game-time decision. Until then, the Jets can only hope that their defensive star is healthy and ready to lead his team back into battle.