New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during OTA at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during OTA at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Between now and training camp, we've been looking at some of the veteran players on the Jets roster to assess their potential contributions to the team in 2016. Today, we're going to share the first part of a two-part look at the six players still with the team who were part of last year's rookie class but have yet to make their NFL debut. Which, if any, of these players can we expect to make contributions this season?

We'll start today with a look at the three offensive players that fit into this category: Quarterback Bryce Petty, offensive lineman Jarvis Harrison and fullback Julian Howsare. In part two, we'll look at the three defensive players: Defensive lineman Deon Simon and linebackers Deion Barnes and Taiwan Jones.

Petty

Petty was selected in the fourth round of last year's draft, but most people projected he'd be at least a year, if not more, away from contributing. Petty had an excellent senior year at Baylor, but their offense is a college-style spread. Reports indicated there was a big learning curve for Petty in terms of learning pro-style concepts and terminology, but he was regarded as having an NFL arm and good mobility.

While he never saw action, Petty spent the entire 2015 season on the Jets' active roster and suited up a couple of times, however he was inactive for most of the season. He was active in the first two weeks as the No. 2 quarterback and also in Week 3, as the Jets had three quarterbacks active following the return of Geno Smith from injury.

My fear for Petty was he would be seriously out of his depth in preseason, but he actually put together some solid numbers, led the team on some scoring drives and had some nice moments. His final numbers -- 27-of-45 for 270 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions -- were perfectly respectable, although they perhaps don't tell the full story.

In his first appearance, the Jets kept things very simple for Petty, who completed 10 of 18 passes for 50 yards. The next game saw him air it out a little more and he made some nice throws, including his first touchdown pass and a deep connection with Saalim Hakim. In his final game, he didn't get many chances to throw, but showed good chemistry with DeVier Posey, connecting with him four times including a 24-yard deep crosser that accounted for over half of his yards. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see him in the Bollinger Bowl because the Jets were deciding whether to retain Matt Flynn or Josh Johnson, and had resolved to share all the reps between them.

Despite his modest success, each of Petty's performances had a few shaky moments. He had a couple of risky throws that were almost intercepted, lost a fumble and missed a few throws in each game. He also had issues with throwing late, failing to put enough touch on short passes and one occasion when he was sacked because he was oblivious to an unblocked rusher off the edge.

While there were a lot of things to nit-pick, one positive thing from Petty's performances was he wasn't making the same kinds of mistakes over and over again. Then again, this means he has lots of different areas in which he needs to be more consistent. It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of progress he's made based on how he performs in camp and preseason.

When the Jets drafted another raw quarterback in Christian Hackenberg in the second round this year, some people took this to be a bad sign for Petty's future. That's not necessarily the case because Petty was always viewed as a bit of a long shot with developmental potential, and that probably hasn't changed over the last 12 months. However, even though he's the No. 3 right now, it's probably fair to say that he has as much chance of being off the 53-man roster altogether as he does of seeing any action this season. He, like each of the players we'll be considering here, is still fully practice squad eligible.

Signs so far this offseason have not been particularly promising. ESPN New York's Rich Cimini named him as one of his "fallers" in an article about the risers and fallers at mini-camp.

Harrison

Harrison was a fifth-round pick last year and began the season on the active roster. Eventually the Jets had to waive him because they were short on safeties, so needed a roster spot for Rontez Miles. Harrison cleared waivers and the Jets were able to sign him to their practice squad for the rest of the season and to a futures deal once the season ended.

Harrison's preseason campaign basically saw him pitted directly against Dakota Dozier. The pair played at guard on the third unit, with Harrison on the right side. It was interesting to compare them because Dozier was just about able to handle his assignments most of the time while not necessarily looking smooth or in control. Harrison, on the other hand, really looked the part when he got everything right, but was more prone to mistakes than Dozier.

Harrison showed an ability to pull or get out in front of a screen and to drive his man out of the play at the second level. However, there were times when he seemed unsure of his assignment and allowed his man to shoot a gap or get off his block to blow up a run. He didn't give up any pressure, and while it's a small sample size and against backups, that is definitely a positive sign.

On the play below, Harrison (wearing No. 64) does a good job of getting a surge to help Daryl Richardson get into the end zone. However, he perhaps doesn't finish the play as well as he might have:

Recent history perhaps bodes well for Harrison in that there have been some recent offensive linemen that didn't play as rookies, then started getting some playing time in their second season. Dozier saw his first action last year after having been stashed on the active roster throughout the 2014 season, and Oday Aboushi, a mid-round pick like Dozier and Harrison, started during the second half of his second season after also being a perpetual healthy scratch as a rookie.

The difference with Harrison was the team eventually exposed him to waivers and risked losing him by placing him on the practice squad. Maybe that means they weren't as high on him, although there was a serious need for roster room at the time due to injuries and protecting his rights by having him use up a spot was obviously a luxury they were prepared to forego. Brent Qvale, however, spent his entire rookie year on the practice squad before becoming a contributor last year, so Harrison is still potentially on a similar path.

Cimini named Harrison as one of his mini-camp "fallers" in the aforementioned article. Apparently he had been getting some work at right tackle and struggled in pass protection. With most of his work so far having been at guard, it's possible that was geared towards emergency duties rather than a permanent change though.

Howsare

Howsare was an undrafted free agent defensive end and special teamer out of Clarion. The Jets opted to convert him to fullback in training camp, and he backed up Tommy Bohanon throughout preseason. He was added to the practice squad after not making the roster. However, unlike the other five players we're focusing on here, the Jets didn't retain his rights all season. They released him from the practice squad for a three-week period in the middle of the season before re-signing him to the squad for the rest of the year and then giving him a futures deal after the season.

Over the course of preseason, Howsare made encouraging progress. He didn't do much to stand out in the first couple of games, but made no obvious mistakes either and even caught a short pass out of the slot. In his third game, he made a good driving lead block on a short yardage play and in the final game, his consistency in terms of locating, locking onto and staying with his blocks was impressive and contributed to a 200-yard rushing day for the team.

Scroll back up to the gif above and you'll see how easily he drives his man out of the play, albeit away from the direction of the run.

Of course, that was all against backups, but with a year to prepare himself both physically and mentally for the role this time instead of a mid-camp transition, hopefully he can build on that progress.

It's understandable Howsare hasn't received much buzz this offseason since fullback is a position in which it's difficult to make an impact before the pads go on. From what we hear, Howsare is hopeful he'll get a chance to beat out Bohanon this season as long as the Jets opt to carry a full-time fullback on the roster. If he's continued to develop at the same rate he did last year, that's a possibility.

Conclusions

Of these three, Howsare has received the least fanfare, but he arguably has the best chance of becoming a contributor based on who is ahead of him. Even something as simple as a Bohanon injury could effectively hand him the No. 1 fullback spot, although he'd likely have to defend it against any other candidates whom the Jets bring in. While the fullback position isn't a major role within the Jets' offense right now, they did have a use for Bohanon against certain opponents.

As for Petty and Harrison, they were both considered projects and, as such, may never make it. Some draft experts regarded Harrison as a player with potential pro bowl level talent, but he had issues related to things like work ethic and attitude. If he can keep working hard, then perhaps he can deliver on his potential, but he has several players ahead of him in the battle for a spot. Petty, who has all the tools but lacks experience in a pro-style system, still seems like a long shot, and some believe he won't be with the team much longer. However, if he's progressed at all since last year, then he'll likely get more time to keep developing, whether with the Jets or another team.

Be sure to check in for part two where we look in more detail at the potential defensive debutants. 

Tags: Brent Qvale, Bryce Petty, Dakota Dozier, Geno Smith, Jarvis Harrison, Julian Howsare, Tommy Bohanon

Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Rishard Matthews (82) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Rishard Matthews (82) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets on Tuesday placed WR Rishard Matthews on injured reserve and signed T Eric Smith off the Patriots' practice squad, the team announced.

The 29-year-old Matthews, who injured his hamstring during Saturday's loss to the Texans, caught two passes in five games for the Jets after signing with the team in October. 

Matthews, the Dolphins' seventh-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft, joined the Jets after being released by the Titans due to unhappiness with his playing time.

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Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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Despite losing Saturday's game, Jets QB Sam Darnold put together arguably his most complete performance of the season. He ended up with 253 yards and two touchdowns, adding three more first downs with his legs. Darnold completed 24-of-38 passes and didn't have an interception, although he threw five incompletions in a row with the game on the line in the last two minutes.

Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions:

Tags: Elijah McGuire, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Grades are in for Jets 00:03:36
Willie Colon, Ray Lucas and Bart Scott give their grades for the Jets 29-22 loss to the Texans.

The grade are in after the Jets fell to the Texans on Saturday, 29-22.

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Sam Darnold needs more weapons 00:01:13
Sam Darnold played well in the 29-22 loss to the Texans. Ralph Vacchiano argues the Jets need to find more weapons for the QB.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - With two minutes to go in the game and the Jets trailing and reeling, Sam Darnold made the kind of throw that star quarterbacks often make. It was 4th down and 14 and he fired it 20 yards down field, right on target.

It should have kept the Jets' desperation drive alive. Instead, the ball bounced right off Robby Anderson's hands.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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No moral victory for Jets 00:01:50
The Jets lost 29-22 to the Texans. For the players while they're improving there's no excuse for the loss.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Being forced to sit and watch for three games sure seems to have paid off for Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. He has been terrific in his two weeks back.

One week after his late, game-winning drive against the Buffalo Bills, Darnold gave one of his most impressive performances. Against a playoff-bound team with a strong defense and some Pro Bowl pass rushers, Darnold was sharp and efficient and kept the Jets in the game almost all by himself. He completed 24 of 38 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns and ran six times for 35 yards.

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Jets crew gives keys to the game 00:02:04
Willie Colon, Ray Lucas, and Bart Scott give their keys to the game for the Jets to beat the Texans

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (4-9) against the Houston Texans (9-4) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 4:30 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

The Jets and Texans will be just a few degrees away from a snow game … but it doesn't look like they're going to make it. Temperatures should be above 40 at kickoff but will drop through the mid-30s as the game goes on. There is also plenty of rain sprinkled into the forecast throughout the night.

WHAT IT MEANS

They showed a little pride earlier this week against the Bills, but in the process they blew a chance to gain control of their destiny in the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. They're only one game behind the Cardinals, Raiders and 49ers in that race, though. So a loss to the Texans here and they're right back in it.

Tags: Houston Texans, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Davis Webb (5) warms up prior to against the Buffalo Bills the game at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Davis Webb (5) warms up prior to against the Buffalo Bills the game at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets made a curious move prior to Saturday's game vs. the Houston Texans. 

Davis Webb, the Jets' third-string quarterback, was active for the game, as was Josh McCown while Sam Darnold is the starter. 

It is the first time this season that Webb has been active while Darnold and McCown were also active. 

Tags: Davis Webb, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
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Oct 29, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Oct 29, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

The Jets will be put to the test on Saturday afternoon when they face Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson at MetLife -- the third mobile quarterback New York will face in as many weeks. 

Sam Darnold and the Jets are riding high after snuffing Josh Allen and the Bills of a win with a last-minute comeback drive on Sunday in chilly Buffalo. New York can expect another tough game against Watson, a 23-year-old triple-threat making his mark in Houston.

Watson entered the NFL scene as the Texans' No. 12 overall pick in the 2017 draft. He faced adversity after a phenomenal start to his rookie season last year, passing for 1,699 yards in his first six games and tying for the NFL lead in passing touchdowns with 19.

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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

After missing out on the Pro Bowl during his rookie season in 2017, S Jamal Adams vowed he wouldn't miss another one for the rest of his NFL career. 

Well, the fans are helping him out this season.

With fan voting for the Pro Bowl complete, Adams finished first among all strong safeties with 249,348 votes. The 23-year-old is having another fine season with 90 combined tackles, 2.5 sacks, and collecting his first career interception over 13 games thus far.

Tags: Andre Roberts, Jamal Adams
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With just three games remaining in the regular season, many 4-9 teams would be going through the motions and playing out the string.  

Yet there are valuable insights to be gained from these games for the Jets, which may play into decisions about staffing changes once the season is over.

Let's consider what the organization can get out of the rest of the year:

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Isaiah Crowell's season is over. 

The Jets placed the injured running back on the injured reserve on Friday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Crowell left Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills with a foot injury and did not return. He was ruled out for Saturday's game against the Texans on Thursday after not practicing all week.

Tags: Elijah McGuire
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets ruled running back Isaiah Crowell and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa out for Saturday's game against the Texans, while outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins will be a game-time decision.

Crowell left Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills in the first half with a foot injury and did not return. Elijah McGuire recorded 60 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards in Crowell's absence, scoring the game-winning 1-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Enunwa did not practice on Tuesday or Wednesday with an ankle injury. He missed two games in October with a sprained ankle.

Tags: Houston Texans, Jordan Jenkins, Quincy Enunwa
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'Cope's Chronicles' 00:01:28
New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland interviews some of his teammates about their Alma maters.

Jets LB Brandon Copeland took the microphone from SNY's Jeane Coakley to make his rounds in the locker room for "Cope's Chronicles," his new segment on Jets Game Plan.

Copeland naturally assumed the role of interviewer, asking his teammates about their alma maters and how much they regret not going to his own, the University of Pennsylvania.

"How mad are you on a scale of 1 to 10 that you did not go to the University of Pennsylvania," he asked WR Andre Roberts.

Tags: Brandon Copeland
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire celebrates his game-winning touchdown with offensive guard Brian Winters and offensive guard Dakota Dozier against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire celebrates his game-winning touchdown with offensive guard Brian Winters and offensive guard Dakota Dozier against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

When Jets running back Isaiah Crowell went down, Elijah McGuire stepped up.

And he hopes to keep the momentum going in the future.

McGuire totaled 83 yards from scrimmage, the most he's had since Week 4 in 2017, and scored the game-winning 1-yard touchdown in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills after Crowell left the game with a foot injury.

"You can't take it for granted," McGuire said, according to the New York Post's Brian Costello.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire
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Nothing to lose 00:01:24
Avery Williamson and Todd Bowles say they aren't taking the last three games for granted. Players must make the most and try and win out.

As the Jets continue to hope for a winning future, New York's three remaining games of the season are important to assess how the franchise's top players will establish themselves. 

New York is feeling confident after defeating Buffalo 27-23 on Sunday with a solid return from quarterback Sam Darnold. The 21-year-old went 12 of 18 for 139 yards in the second half and led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes to snap the Jets' six-game losing streak.

Linebacker Avery Williamson is not taking the Jets' final three games for granted and hopes the team's latest victory will stretch into Week 15 against the Titans. Williamson said it's not just about winning games, but he wants to end the season on a positive note -- by playing the best he can.

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Sam Darnold optimistic after win 00:01:01
Sam Darnold is feeling better physically after the Jets win. Darnold looks to build on his start for the last three games of the season.

Sam Darnold gave Jets fans a scare in the first half of Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills when he exited the game after re-aggravating his sprained right foot. 

The rookie quarterback eventually re-entered the game and gutted it out as he led the Jets to a comeback victory, but there was still concern over his health, especially when he was splitting first-team reps with Josh McCown at the start of Tuesday's practice that was open to media. 

But Darnold was listed as a full participant and insists he "feels great."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jul 28, 2018; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Jul 28, 2018; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

Another NFL coaching whiz became available on Thursday when the Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo -- and the Jets likely already have their eyes on him.

DeFilippo is expected to be on the Jets' shortlist to replace head coach Todd Bowles, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The 40-year-old DeFilippo was the Jets' quarterbacks coach in 2009, and the team even tried to interview him for its offensive coordinator job in 2017 before the Eagles blocked him. DeFilippo helped develop QB Carson Wentz over two seasons in Philly, but his 2018 season with Minnesota was cut short due to a struggling, Kirk Cousins-led offense. 

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Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon rehash the Jets win over the Bills. Was the signature win for the rookie QB better than a potentially higher draft spot? The duo also examine the coaching carousel in the NFL and preview the game against the Texans.

Subscribe to the show here: https://on.sny.tv/2Od2Qzt

 

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

If Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins was happy about his team's first win in six weeks, he didn't show it. Instead, Jenkins had sharp words for young Bills quarterback Josh Allen and outside left tackler Dion Dawkins after New York edged Buffalo 27-23 on Sunday.

Allen pulled away from Jenkins, who was charging at the quarterback at the 15-yard line, for a 6-yard touchdown on Buffalo's first drive of the game. But Jenkins' emotional response during his postgame press conference was driven by Dawkins' chop block on the first play from scrimmage. 

The play caused Jenkins to retreat to the locker room with an ankle injury. Moments later, SNYtv's Ralph Vacchiano reported Jenkins was returning to the field, despite being doubtful to return. Jenkins finished with two tackles, including one tackle for loss.

Tags: Jordan Jenkins
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

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Until the final drive, Sam Darnold's performance in his return to the starting lineup would be defined by his best and worst play. However, Darnold's composure in leading the team downfield for the late game-winning score in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills was exactly the kind of thing the Jets and their fans had been hoping to see from him this year.

Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions:

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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What to make of Sam Darnold 00:00:51
Sam Darnold returned to action against the Bills. What should Jets fans takeaway from the young QB?s season so far?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Fourteen years ago there was a young quarterback in New York who had struggled through an up-and-down rookie season. He showed flashes of his potential, but not nearly enough to convince everyone he would someday be the man to lead his franchise.

Then in Week 17, Eli Manning got the ball with 1:41 remaining and drove the Giants down the field for a game-winning drive capped by a 3-yard Tiki Barber touchdown run. The Giants beat the Cowboys 28-24 that day and it seemed like the moment that Manning arrived.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Eli Manning, Elijah McGuire, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Report Cards from the Jets win 00:02:37
Willie Colon and Bart Scott give their grades for the Jets 27-23 win over Buffalo. It's all A's for special teams but what about the rest?

The Jets crew hands out grades after Sam Darnold led the Jets to a last-minute comeback drive in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field.

Tags: Buffalo Bills
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Jets beat Bills 27-23 00:01:17
The Jets got their much-wanted revenge on the Buffalo Bills, winning 27-23. After the game it was all smiles in the locker room.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Sam Darnold limped off to the locker room after the Jets' first series, it looked like this season was going to go from bad to much worse. This season had always been about him. But he had already missed three games with a foot injury after three terrible performances.

And now he was going to be out again?

Well, though it wasn't exactly a Willis Reed performance, Darnold returned quickly enough to give some life and hope to what's left of this Jets season. He went 12 of 18 for 139 yards in the second half and led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes to give the Jets a 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Running back Isaiah Crowell left Week 14 against Buffalo with a foot injury. The Jets announced he is questionable to return. 

The 25-year-old was sidelined at Jets practice with a toe issue all week, and it could be related to Sunday's injury. Crowell had three touches for seven yards before exiting. Elijah McGuire took over for Crowell as the New York's lead back.

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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Jets QB Sam Darnold left Sunday's game against the Bills after just three plays, heading to the locker room with team doctors before being replaced by Josh McCown.

Darnold missed one drive before jogging back on the field and coming back in the game. 

He is playing in his first game since Week 9, when he suffered a right foot strain.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

After missing the last three games due to a foot injury, Sam Darnold will return as the Jets' QB on Sunday against the Bills, the team announced. 

Darnold practiced in full on Friday, but head coach Todd Bowles said a final decision on his availability wouldn't be made until right before the game. 

"We'll decide that on Sunday," Bowles said. "Both he and Josh (McCown) had good weeks."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (3-9) at the Buffalo Bills (4-8) at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

As the Jets enter the final quarter of their schedule in the 2018-2019 season, the reality that there will be no postseason football for Gang Green has set in. But that does not mean players are packing it in on the whole.

That's certainly not how Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams sees it.

"You can tell guys are tired of it - they want to win, no more losing," Williams told the New York Post on Friday. "I think it shows a lot."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The last time Sam Darnold was under center for the Jets, his rookie season was in a freefall.

In his last three games, he had completed just 47.3 percent of his passes for 588 yards, with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. He had a dismal passer rating of 43.2.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Manish Mehta responds to Bowles 00:02:56
Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta responds to Todd Bowles' denial of his story about tension between and GM Mike Maccagnan and himself.

Even though Todd Bowles claims there was "never any tension" between him and anyone else on the Jets staff, New York Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta isn't buying it. 

Mehta doubled down on his Daily News report Friday, saying the head coach's denial of friction between him and GM Mike Maccagnan were "predictable" and he wouldn't expect the two to publicly say otherwise.

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