Very odd situation

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A few things to get into today . . .

I might have jumped the gun yesterday with Leonard Williams.

He seemed less involved today.

Williams didn’t seem to be doing much today with his back injury.

With this being the last game of the year, and a game of no import, they have to be thinking – “What is the point of playing him and making it worse entering the off-season.”

We will find out more tomorrow.

But this brings us back to the Mo Wilkerson situation.

If Williams is out, why would you sit Wilkerson? That put the Jets in a situation where they would be playing without both their starting defensive ends, both first round picks.

And if Williams is out, and Wilkerson has “served his sentence” as Todd Bowles said after the defender was left home from New Orleans for being late, why wouldn’t Mo play?

I guess they wouldn’t play him because his $16.75 million salary for the 2018 season becomes fully guaranteed if he suffers a serious injury. That is a reason not to play him if they intend on moving on.

But if that is the case, why is he practicing? Guys get hurt in practice all the time. I will never forget when Jim Leonhard broke his leg in a December 2010 practice collision with wide receiver Patrick Turner.

Wilkerson is practicing this week. He practiced last week.

Here is an exchange I had with Todd today.

Q)What goes into the decision of whether or not Muhammad Wilkerson is active in Sunday?

Bowles: My decision, that’s all. Just mine only.

Q)You said Wilkerson served his sentence…

Bowles: Right.

Q)Is Wilkerson being active strictly a football decision?

Bowles: Yes, I’m allowed to make active or inactive anybody I choose to do so.

Q)Will the decision on Wilkerson be based on football or if there’s other factors?

Bowles: It’s football for me. It’s just a coaching decision.

This is Kabuki Theatre.

Why would you want to play without Williams and Wilkerson if you had a choice?

If Wilkerson doesn’t play on Sunday, it’s a business decision, not a football decision, and Todd isn’t making this alone. Others are clearly involved . . .

The Jets enter this game with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg at quarterback.

“I tell you what, both of those guys have had a good week of practice,” John Morton said about Petty and Hackenberg today.

That means very little.

It’s touch football in practice . . .

I asked Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers about Darron Lee’s play in coverage this year.

“Darron is really making strides and the thing is, we keep putting him in those situations,” Rodgers said. “There’s a couple of things, a couple of plays the other night he would’ve liked to have back technically. Just took his eyes off, but we have no problems matching him up on people.”

Why does he only have three defensed passes on this season?

“I really can’t explain that,” Rodgers said. “I just watch him in position and the thing is, he’s in really good position. Sometimes they don’t throw the ball there and I know the one last week he would like to have back. As a matter of fact I was messing with him on the fullback route there, but he just took his eyes off of him. (That’s) something that’s easily corrected, but we like where he is.”

The fullback route he’s talking about was in the second quarter against Los Angeles. Derek Watt caught a 20-yard pass on the left side on Lee. Lee was a late getting over there.

He’s often a tick late reacting to patterns, and he needs to improve this. He needs to improve his coverage instincts.

He’s good in the box, but needs to step up on coverage.

December 28, 2017

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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