With the offseason well underway, the Jets have continued to sign some guys that Jets fans might not know too much about. I'll be taking a closer look at each of the new signings and trying to assess what they can bring to the table for the Jets in 2013. Today, I take a look at running back Chris Ivory.

Click the BGA link at the top of the page to look back at some of the scouting work I've done on some of the other signings the Jets have made since the end of the season.

Ivory is a big back, standing 6-0 and tipping the scales at 222 pounds. He was an undrafted small school prospect out of Tiffin, but made an immediate impact with the Saints, rushing for over 700 yards and five touchdowns. However, he found it difficult to get many opportunities over the past few seasons and was traded to the Jets for a fourth round pick in this year's draft. Ivory signed a three-year extension with the Jets, worth $6m, although that could rise to as much as $10m if he meets certain performance targets.

After the jump, I'll be reviewing his career so far and looking in detail at what he could provide the Jets with this year and going forward.

Who is Chris Ivory?

Ivory started off at Washington State, where he rushed for 534 yards and four touchdowns in 22 games, at an average of 5.9 yards per carry. Injuries and coaching changes left him further down the depth chart than he would have liked and he was eventually kicked off the team for violating team rules. After transferring to Division II Tiffin, he was averaging 5.7 yards per carry over his first five games until suffering a season ending knee injury. After he ran a 4.48 at his Pro Day, adding a 36-inch vertical and a 119-inch broad jump, Ivory was undrafted, but signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent.

Ivory had a breakout game in week six of his rookie year, as injuries allowed him to get an opportunity and he gained 158 yards. He led the team in rushing, but suffered a foot injury in the final game of the regular season and missed the playoffs. The same injury caused Ivory to be placed on the PUP list when the Saints camp opened in 2011 and he remained there until midseason, although there was a suggestion that he could have returned much sooner and the Saints (having just drafted Mark Ingram in the first round) were using the PUP list to preserve a roster spot. When he returned to the lineup, he again played well, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and highlighting his season with a 127-yard, one touchdown effort against the Panthers. In 2012, he again found it difficult to get many opportunities, averaging over five yards per carry, but only carrying the ball 40 times in six games. Ivory has always been productive when given an opportunity, but has seen his playing time reduce in each of the past two seasons.

Let's look at Ivory's numbers, then review what he brings to the table.

The Numbers

Three seasons

24 games

Eight starts

256 carries, 1,307 yards, eight touchdowns (5.1 ypc)

Three catches, 32 yards

67% catch rate (including preseason games)

Four career fumbles (none since 2010)

58 broken tackles, including one as a receiver

No penalties committed

Eight 20+ yard runs

Two 40+ yard runs

No pressure surrendered in 26 pass block snaps

I'm going to take a slightly different approach this time and look in detail at his performance in a variety of different categories:

Usage - Ivory basically always lined up as a tailback, directly behind the quarterback. The only times he didn't were in the victory formation and once where he motioned out wide in his rookie season. When he was in the game, the Saints ran the ball approximately two-thirds of the time. When they did throw with him in the game, he stayed in to block just under a quarter of the time.

Running Ability - I don't really need to go into much detail about Ivory's running style as most Jets fans will by now have seen the highlights. Ivory's running style is impressive to watch and his numbers for breaking tackles and yards after contact are among the best in the NFL. He displays vision and burst, can turn the corner and run away from defensive backs and doesn't hesitate. He often displayed this on stretch/zone style running plays which are expected to become a staple of Marty Mornhinweg's offense.

I'll let you judge for yourself - here's a good highlight reel from 2010 and here's another from 2012. For completeness, go here to see his touchdown from 2011.

The consensus seems to be that Ivory can run the ball extremely effectively, but there is concern over his ability to do other things that will be required of him in the Jets offense, so I'm going to focus in more detail on some of these.

Pass Protection - It's good to note that Ivory hasn't surrendered any pressure, but the fact he's only stayed in to block 26 times in three years could give rise to concern that the number is so low because they don't trust him to do it. It's not a scheme thing, because the Saints do leave their backs in to block pretty regularly. However, in terms of the percentage of time spent staying in to block, he's not that far behind some of their other backs, so I don't think that's a situation they actively avoided - although perhaps if they had more confidence in him, his overall playing time would have increased.

Based on the evidence from the film, it's difficult to fault him in pass protection. There was one play where he had to pick up an outside rush and he didn't get over in time, but he still was able to get enough of his man to force him wide so Brees was still able to get off the throw without being pressured and there was one other play where he was double teaming with the left tackle and the defensive end split them, although he tripped as he did so and again was unable to put pressure on Brees. Other than that, he was pretty flawless. Granted, some of these pass protection assignments were straightforward - double teaming on a tackle's man or getting wide to force a pass rusher back inside where a tackle could pick him up. There were a handful of individual blitz pickups though, including one where he read the cornerback coming off the edge and got across in plenty of time to allow Brees to make a first down throw to that man's side. In such situations, he never blocked the wrong guy and he wasn't driven off his spot as backs often are in that situation. He also showed a decent ability to make a cut-block on the edge following a fake handoff, something the Saints often did, including several times in the red zone for touchdowns. Here's one example.

Receiving Threat - One of the main concerns about Ivory joining the Jets is that he only has three career catches and running backs in West Coast style schemes like the one the Jets are expected to run often need to be good pass catchers. Ivory does have another three catches in preseason games and did have 22 catches in college (including 13 at WSU in 2007), so while there isn't much to be going on, he does have some experience catching the ball. By way of a comparison, Shonn Greene caught just 11 passes in college and struggled at first in the NFL to make an impact as a pass catcher.

When Ivory does catch the ball, he's so good in space that he does represent a decent threat. Five of his six catches in the professional ranks went for at least nine yards, including the spectacular 76-yard touchdown you'll have seen if you watched the 2010 highlight reel linked to above. All of them were on swing passes to the flat, apart from one where he caught a dump-off underneath and broke two tackles to gain 15.

His low numbers are mainly just a product of them just not throwing to him. Watching footage of those plays on which he ran a route, some saw the quarterback make a quick throw before he'd even looked back for the ball, some saw him tracked into the flat by a defender and some simply saw Brees take a downfield option instead - including this one, which probably would have been a 50-yard gain had the ball been checked down to Ivory in the left flat.

Hands - Ivory doesn't have any dropped catches in the NFL - in fact there have only been three passes thrown to him (including preseason) that weren't caught. One of those three was essentially a throw-away as the quarterback was about to be sacked and threw it at Ivory's feet. Another was a horrible Brees pass that was almost intercepted by DT Jurrell Casey dropping into the flat. The last one was a costly error by Ivory, although this was more of a technical issue than a sign that he has bad hands. Brees was looking to throw downfield, but instead checked down to Ivory who turned the wrong way to look at the ball and then had to try and snag the ball behind him one-handed. It ended up being tipped into the air and intercepted, as you can see here.

That's really the only example of poor technique as a receiver based on Ivory's professional career to date and would hopefully be something that can be fixed. Pass catching is apparently a weakness of his, because the announcers were talking about some of his struggles in practice, but the fact that Ivory has done his job in an area where he isn't naturally talented is perhaps a good sign of the kind of dedication he has.

Fumbles - Fumbles started off as a concern for Ivory, as they often do for NFL rookies, when he had three in four weeks early in his career. However, he only had one more in his rookie season and since then has handled the ball 167 times in the NFL without a fumble. He did fumble once in preseason in 2012 - his only preseason fumble - although that was on kind of a freak play as he was stumbling and reaching for extra yardage and got his bell rung. Of his four fumbles as a rookie, three came as he was hit at the line of scrimmage and only one of these was recovered by the defense. His fourth came on another freak play as he ran for 13 yards, but was then upended at the end of the run and the ball slipped out of his hands in mid-air. Looking at some of the 2012 highlights, he does seem to be protecting the ball well.

Short Yardage - You'd expect Ivory, given his strength, vision and tackle-breaking abilities to be excellent in short yardage. Looking at plays where Ivory ran the ball on 3rd or 4th and less than three, or inside the two yard line, his success rate for 2010 was 69% and for 2011 was just 59%. By comparison, when I scouted Lex Hilliard, I calculated his success rate in short yardage situations as 80%. However, based on stats from Football Outsiders, the NFL average success rate on short yardage plays this year was 63% so maybe Ivory didn't fare too badly. The Saints success rate was 68% in 2010 and 65% in 2011, so he fits in reasonably well with that.

Interestingly, he didn't get any short yardage carries at all in 2012.

Special Teams - Ivory doesn't seem to have made any special teams contributions so far in his career, although he did do some kick returning while in college.

Instincts - As noted, Ivory has good vision and makes good reads in the running game, not just in terms of hitting the right gap, but also down the field. He also seemed to make the right choices in his limited opportunities as a pass protector.

Attitude - Ivory plays hard, runs with a purpose and is known to be a hard worker. I didn't see any examples of him getting into it with teammates or opponents. It's a good sign that he has never been flagged for a penalty, although I admit to being concerned that he might fall foul of the new rules which outlaw runners using the crown of their helmet as a weapon. Having looked back at some of the highlights though, when Ivory lowers his head, he still tends to lead with the shoulder pad, so hopefully should be compliant with the new rules, unless they are applied incorrectly.

Injuries - This is definitely a concern, although Ivory's injury problems may have been somewhat overblown. Although he's only played in 24 games in three seasons, plenty of the games he missed were simply because he was inactive due to the Saints' log-jam at the running back position and it's feasible to suggest that he could have played in some of those games where he was listed as out with an injury - especially those where he was on the PUP list.

In 2012, he was actually healthy all year, until having some issues with a hamstring problem that caused him to miss three games down the stretch, although he was only actually listed as "out" once. Once returning from the PUP list in 2011, he was healthy the rest of the way, only appearing on the injury list once, as questionable with another hamstring issue in week 10. Finally, in 2010, he was actually on the injury list for most of the season with a variety of ailments. However, after missing the first two games with a knee injury, he was listed as probable every week until week 15, so he was available for most of the year.

He did also have a few minor issues at WSU and saw his senior year at Tiffin cut short because of a knee injury, so it will be important for him to stay on the field and make the most of his opportunity to break out.

Conclusions

It's obvious that Ivory has a lot of talent and although some people have suggested he might not be a good fit for a West Coast offense due to his lack of contributions in the passing game, I actually see him as a particularly good fit for what they use the backs for in Marty Mornhinweg's offense. Ivory is excellent in space and can win one on one matchups with speed or with power and those are the types of situations this offense aims to create for him.

If Ivory can improve his contributions as a pass catcher and blocker, then he could become a three-down back in this system, but the Jets have a couple of other options they can throw out there at the running back position, so that's not necessarily essential. It would help his effectiveness though, if he can become a little less one-dimensional.

For the Jets to get good value for the fourth round pick they gave up for Ivory, he'll need to remain healthy. However, if he can do that, I have a lot of confidence in his ability to produce at a high level.

We'll be looking at Stephen Peterman next...

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan ignored speculation to draft Saints RB Alvin Kamara as he didn't want to take the risk, reports NY Daily News' Manish Mehta

Kamara is turning heads as the rookie has shown out in his two preseason games with the Saints so far this year. Mehta says the Jets wanted to make a push to draft Kamara this year, but Maccagnan decided to stay where they were on the draft board as he viewed Kamara as too much of a risk.

The Jets drafted WR ArDarius Stewart at No. 79 overall in the third round, but now they are seeing what they could have possibly gotten with Kamara in their backfield. The 5-foot-10, 194 pound back has totaled 118 yards and a touchdown on just 10 touches in two preseason games. 

Kamara is shaping up to be a difference maker if he can continue the pace he is on, and the Jets could certainly have used his talents. However, head coach Todd Bowles believes there are playmakers already on his roster...

Tags: ArDarius Stewart
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles believes his team will perform better than anyone is expecting them to this season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini

Bowles spoke to Mike Francesa on WFAN radio at camp Monday, and gave the Jets' fan base an encouraging message. 

"I would tell them that we're not going to be a terrible team," Bowles said. "We're going to come out there and fight, and blood, sweat and tears will go out to the city and our fans, and we're going to win more games than everybody ever expected."

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Jeane Coakley on Jets camp 00:01:55
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where Todd Bowles wants more consistency and hopes to name a starting quarterback soon.

 

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles coaches against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles coaches against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he will "probably" name a starting quarterback next Monday.

Bowles said on Monday that he wants to first watch film of Saturday's game against the Giants before making an announcement. The Jets will conclude their preseason schedule with a matchup against the Eagles at home on August 31.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jets owner Woody Johnson has passed on the duties of team chairman and CEO to his brother, Christopher Johnson, the team announced on Monday.

The anticipated move came after Woody Johnson was sworn in as US Ambassador to the UK and Northern Ireland on Monday.  

Earlier this month, Woody Johnson was confirmed by the Senate to serve in the role.

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 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

Jets fans took to Twitter after Sunday night's episode of HBO's Game of Thrones to jokingly suggest the Night King should be their quarterback.

Warning: Episode spoilers below!

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December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams (92) and outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) celebrate after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams (92) and outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) celebrate after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

The NFL has cleared Jets players Darron Lee and Leonard Williams of any violations of league rules after an investigation into an incident at a New York music festival in June turned up a lack of evidence.

The incident involved Williams dragging Lee away from what Jets coach Todd Bowles later described as "an argument with his girlfriend" during the Governors Ball on Randalls Island. The argument and the aftermath were caught on video and posted to social media.

The Twitter user who posted the video said the woman was "shaken and in tears" after the incident. The user also described Lee as "aggressive" and claimed the Jets linebacker "started to manhandle" the woman, "grabbed" her, and "started dragging her away."

Upon announcing that the league's investigation was closed, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email "Following a review, we concluded there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that there was a violation of the personal conduct policy."

Tags: Darron Lee, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (right) poses for a photo with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith prior to Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (right) poses for a photo with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith prior to Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is close to getting a five-year contract extension to remain in his position atop the league, according to multiple reports.

According to the Sports Business Journal, Goodell will earn close to what he is during his current contract, which is set to end in 2019. Goodell has presided over the NFL since 2006 since he took over for Paul Tagliabue. The extension would keep him on as commissioner until 2024.

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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

After losing some veterans on the offensive line, the Jets are looking for some answers and reliability in the trenches as they march toward the regular season. 

The offense struggled as a whole in Saturday's loss at the Lions, producing just 85 rushing yards and six total points. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg only went 2-of-6 for 14 yards in the first half. Head coach Todd Bowles attributes that to some issues on the line. 

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In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at the eight sacks the Jets' D laid on the Tennessee Titans, as well as Christian Hackenberg's performance. Later, the guys discuss the wide receivers, offensive line, and their expectations for this week's matchup with the Detroit Lions.

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team. Today, we'll look at one of the top performers in the Jets' 16-6 loss to the Lions, cornerback Dexter McDougle.

Who is he?

Tags: Dexter McDougle
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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Remember all that progress that Christian Hackenberg appeared to make in the Jets' preseason opener? Well, by Week 2 it was gone.

Hackenberg, getting a surprise start over veteran Josh McCown, gave an ugly and unproductive performance in the Jets 16-6 loss to the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit. He was a miserable 2 of 6 for 14 yards, with both completions coming on dump-offs to running back Bilal Powell. In a full half of action he led the Jets to just two first downs and a total of 43 yards.

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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Christian Hackenberg could only complete two passes, the Jets' defense failed to contain Matthew Stafford, and the Lions beat the Jets, 16-6, in the second preseason game.

Hackenberg was sacked twice and completed two of his six passes. During the Jets' opening drive, Hackenberg fumbled after he was hit by Detroit's Cornelius Washington, but the Jets recovered. Bryce Petty completed 15 of his 24 passes for 160 yards and threw an interception for the Jets, who were 4-for-13 on third down.

Myles White led the Jets in receiving with three catches for 43 yards, while Jordan Leggett hauled in two catches for 40 yards. Bilil Powell carried the ball nine times for 32 yards as the Jets were unable to get much going in the running game.

Darron Lee and Morris Clairbone had five tackles to lead the Jets on defense, while Demario Davis, Josh Martin, and Corey Lemonier each had a sack. >> Box score

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson has become more of a vocal leader this season as he has taken it upon himself to fill that void in the locker room.

Linebacker David Harris was the voice in the Jets' locker room for years. Now that he is gone, Wilkerson is the next man in line and he is embracing the new role. 

"I've been here for a long time now," Wilkerson told The Post's Brian Costello, "I always looked up to older guys who are no longer here. I stepped into the footsteps into being a leader. I wasn't vocal [before], but I've always been a leader on this team. David Harris isn't here anymore, so I took it upon myself to speak up more and get out of my comfort zone." 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets are undefeated, which at the moment is insignificant. But really, given all the predictions of doom and gloom, some people probably thought they wouldn't even end up with one preseason win.

They did, but it wasn't pretty (7-3 over the Tennessee Titans at home last Saturday), and they barely answered any of the many, many major question marks surrounding their season and long-term future. Maybe their game in Detroit against the Lions on Saturday night will provide a few more clues about the direction they're headed.

In the meantime, here are five things worth watching at Ford Field tonight:

Tags: Bilal Powell, Christian Hackenberg, Dylan Donahue, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Daily News Live: Hack Attack 00:02:52
As the Jets get ready for their second preseason game, the panel discusses if a good game from Hackenberg can win him the starting job.

 

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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JRSportBrief: NFL work stoppage? 00:01:54
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

 

 

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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

While New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles did name a starting quarterback for Saturday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions, he is expected to give Josh McCown more playing time.

McCown, who did not get receive any reps at Thursday's practice when the Jets did game-plan prep, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini, played the opening drive last week in New York's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans, but Christian Hackenberg then played the following eight possessions.

Bowles said he didn't anticipate any lineup changes, but left the door open to it by saying, "we'll discuss it."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Detroit Lions, Josh McCown
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New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

New York Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin tweaked his back and sat out practice Thursday, leaving him uncertain for the preseason game at Detroit on Saturday night.

Mauldin had been dealing with a back issue earlier during training camp, but returned to the field Wednesday. Coach Todd Bowles said the third-year linebacker was inside receiving treatment during practice Thursday.

Bowles added that he was unsure how long Mauldin would be sidelined, but said that he would likely not play against the Lions.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Detroit Lions, Lorenzo Mauldin, Matt Forte, Quincy Enunwa
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:03:01
Jeane Coakley talks to Muhammad Wilkerson about being one of the older, vocal leaders in the locker room at Jets camp.

 

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Daily News Live: Bowles' future 00:04:48
The Daily News Live panel discusses what Todd Bowles can do to save his job and if he is the right coach to lead a rebuilding effort.

 

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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking to gain a physical edge on the field, Jets linebacker Darron Lee gained nine pounds heading into training camp. 

Lee, who was 227 pounds after minicamp ended, is now 236 at training camp. 

"On my conditioning test, everybody was like, 'You look noticeably bigger,'" Lee said, according to the New York Daily News. "Hey, I put in that work."

Tags: Darron Lee
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Bowles rewards team during camp 00:02:29
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Florham Park where Todd Bowles allowed his team to remove pads during practice on Wednesday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin showed up to a Manhattan court on Wednesday for his alleged assault of a Queens man, but the case has been delayed because prosecution wasn't ready to file paper work, according to multiple reports

Mauldin had turned himself in to authorities in late June for his alleged role in the nightclub attack that took place on April 2. The New York Post reported on June 21 that Mauldin had been charged with misdemeanor assault, which carries a maximum sentence of year in jail.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - In the wake of the ugly riots in Charlottesville, Va., there's a possibility that more NFL players will decline to stand for the national anthem during preseason games this weekend, joining a protest started by Colin Kaepernick last year. So far there's no indication any Jets players will join them.

But if they do, their coach will have their back.

"We don't have a rule book on what's right to protest and not protest," Bowles said at Jets training camp on Wednesday. "You don't know those things until the course of time, whether it's sitting for the anthem, whether it's raising your fist, wither it's speaking out, a walk to Washington -- who's to say whose protest is good or bad?"

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

John Morton seemed to like everything he saw with Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg on Saturday night. He liked his poise, his decisiveness, the decisions he made. It was clearly a step in the right direction.

But was it a big step toward Hackenberg getting the starting job?

That's a question that Morton, the Jets new offensive coordinator, wasn't willing to answer on Tuesday. In fact, Morton made it sound like Hackenberg still has a long ways to go.

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets WR Lucky Whitehead, who suffered a broken foot during Monday's practice, will have surgery for the injury, head coach Todd Bowles said on Wednesday.

Prior to deciding on surgery, Whitehead was expected to miss four-to-six weeks, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Whitehead joined the Jets after he was released by the Cowboys on July 24. He returend two punts and a kickoff in the Jets' preseason opener. Serving primarily as a returner, he caught three passes for 48 yards for the Cowboys in 2016.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:01:46
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp, where Todd Bowles was pleased with his team's response to his criticism.

 

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Jets Training Camp report 00:01:37
SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where head coach Todd Bowles was not pleased with the team's most recent practice.

 

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets running back Matt Forte is missing time in the preseason and training camp due to a hamstring injury for the second year in a row, but told NJ.com's JJ Conrad he feels he is close to returning to the field.

"I'm feeling good, but not good enough to be in full practice yet," Forte said to Conrad on Monday. "I'm just going through what the trainers tell me, easing back in. I don't want to go back out there immediately and get injured again."

Forte, who did not play in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans in the Jets' preseason opener, said he the trainers are being cautious with him given the nature of hamstring injuries and the fact the veteran running back underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the end of last season.

Tags: Matt Forte
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