The New York Jets will play their final preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles and several roster spots are up for grabs. It is up to the players to fight their way onto the final 53-man roster. Who will make the cut?
On September 1st, the New York Jets will have to cut their roster down to 53 players. At this point in the preseason, most spots have been secured. However, some spots are still available. Head coach Todd Bowles said 5-6 roster spots are still up for grabs heading into the final week of the preseason.
Who will win these spots? Most starters won’t play in the final preseason game, so everyone will get their share of reps. The departure of Teddy Bridgewater opened up yet another roster spot. Whether it’s on offense, defense or special teams, plays will have to be made. Which players have the most on the line?
Here are the top three players on the Jets that must fight their way onto the roster in the preseason finale.
3. Wide Receiver Chad Hansen
Chad Hansen was written down as a potential break out candidate during minicamp. Now, he is in jeopardy of not even making the team. He has been completely silent thus far during the preseason and has lost most of his reps to ArDarius Stewart, Tre McBride, and Charles Johnson.
Hansen, who was the Jets fourth round pick in 2017, needs to make some noise in the final preseason game. He has caught one pass for no yards through three preseason games, he’s been outperformed by other receivers in training camp, and reps have become smaller. He needs to prove he belongs on the roster.
He definitely still has a chance. Stewart is facing a one-game suspension, which could hurt his stock. McBride and Johnson are both older than Hansen, which gives Hansen a slight advantage. It’s all up to him to make it.
Next: 2. A raw cornerback with potential
2. Cornerback Derrick Jones
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Derrick “Bones” Jones missed most of his rookie season due to injury in 2017. Throughout training camp, he has reminded the Jets why they drafted him. He’s shown his potential to the team in camp and preseason. He has to keep it that way.
If Jones plays the way he played the first two preseason games, he should have a spot on the roster. Through the first two games, he was targeted four times and didn’t allow a catch. He is the only cornerback on the Jets to allow zero completions.
Jones’ competition consists of Rashard Robinson, Juston Burris, and a few others. Robinson has played fairly well through preseason but faces a four-game suspension for substance abuse. Burris seems like a long shot to make the roster, after being hurt for most of the preseason. He didn’t help himself by allowing a 47 yard completion, either. It’s all or nothing for him on Thursday night.
Next: 1. A tight end who has failed to prove his worth
It’s hard to cut any of the Jets tight ends after their camp performances. Neal Sterling, Jordan Leggett, Chris Herndon, and Clive Walford all have one edge that Tomlinson doesn’t: preseason performance.
Tomlinson has heavily struggled thus far in the preseason. He has been a penalty machine, and quite honestly hasn’t done much right. He caught one pass on two targets, having dropped the second target. He’s been nothing more than subpar in blocking, even though he’s labeled as a blocking tight end.
Tomlinson will have to perform well to prove his worth on the roster. The other tight ends have outperformed him in the preseason by a decent amount. Even though he’s failed to so far, Tomlinson can still show that he belongs on the Jets’ roster. He must step up against the Eagles otherwise he’ll be on the outside looking in.