Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson will not travel with the team to New Orleans to face the Saints on Sunday, head coach Todd Bowles said on Friday, saying it was a 'coaching decision' -- not injury-related.
Wilkerson was very late to the Jets' facility today, which is why he was benched, a source told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, who says it wouldn't be a surprise if this isn't just a one-game punishment, either.
Earlier this month, a day after he benched Wilkerson for most of the first quarter because he showed up late to a team meeting, Bowles said he still considers the 28-year-old defensive end a team leader.
It was the third straight year he had been benched for being late to a team meeting.
But Bowles said Wilkerson and linebacker Darron Lee, who was a healthy scratch from the Jets' 38-31 win over the Chiefs for showing up late to practice, have "earned a lot of trust."
"You make a mistake, and you lose a little trust, and you just have to earn it back," Bowles said at the time. "So going forward, we'll go from there."
Last year, Bowles benched Wilkerson for a quarter in a game against the Miami Dolphins for a "coach's decision" when Wilkerson showed up late to a team meeting that week. A week prior, he missed a team walkthrough. Later in 2016, Bowles and Wilkerson reportedly met to address responsibility.