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This week, Erin Henderson hurt his foot, basically forcing rookie Darron Lee into full time action. Lee, who played on passing downs and against spread personnel last week, was in the starting line-up this week as the Jets opened up in their sub-package. He may therefore have ended up getting the majority of the reps anyway.
Every now and again, Lee will show flashes of the kind of dominant linebacker play Jets fans will be hoping for from him all of the time. On a fourth quarter run, he diagnosed the play, found his way cleanly into the backfield and stopped the back in his tracks for a loss. However, that came immediately after the two preceding plays where he took a step in the wrong direction leaving a huge running lane wide open for a 24-yard run and then was blocked out of the play outside on a cut back run for positive yardage off the edge.
That sums Lee up right now. One flashy play that stands out, but if you watch where he is in any kind of detail, he has mixed results. That's fine, though. At this stage of his career, I'm more excited about what he can do than concerned over him losing on a few plays like you'd expect any rookie to. He just needs to avoid big mistakes, as he had a couple of plays where he failed to make a tackle and one badly blown assignment in coverage where he was fortunate that the throw went elsewhere.
Still, Lee led the Jets with five tackles along with David Harris, as five other starters chipped in with four each. He also split two sacks with Muhammad Wilkerson that ultimately didn't count.
Harris added a couple of big third down tackles and two pressures, but missed a tackle and was blocked out of a few running plays.
Before exiting, Henderson blew up a couple of plays - a screen pass and a run - that someone else finished off for him but was blocked out at the second level a couple of times.
Bruce Carter and Julian Stanford saw brief action off the bench.
Once again, the Jets mostly employed four man fronts, so there weren't many reps to go around for their outside linebackers. Lorenzo Mauldin got close to the quarterback a couple of times, but frustratingly jumped offsides on 3rd-and-6. That actually ended up working out quite well though, as the Bills tried to run the ball and got stuffed twice. Mike Catapano had one pressure and a big hit over at the sideline, on which he perhaps was lucky not to draw a flag.
It will be interesting to see if Jordan Jenkins can have more luck in generating production when he is ready to return.