Jets vs. Jaguars: 3 things to watch

Clyde Gates is trying to make the transition from basketball to football. Credit: Getty Images
Clyde Gates is trying to step up with Santonio Holmes is out.
Credit: Getty Images

Here we go again — another preseason game and another chance for the Jets to sort out questions all over their roster. From quarterback to backfield and receiver depth, not to mention all the new names on defense, Saturday’s game is all about getting answers with Week 1 just a couple weeks away.

Three things to watch for …

1. The Ivory impact

With Mike Goodson still not in training camp and the season-ending knee injury to John Griffin last week, the Jets still need to sort through the issues in their backfield. Joe McKnight has had a rough go in training camp with everything from dehydration to legal matters and a recent head injury meaning he likely won’t go on Saturday night. But the Jets do return Chris Ivory, who they traded for during the offseason and who should be a nice complement to Bilal Powell in the rotation. Keep an eye on Mossis Madu and Chad Spann, who were afterthoughts a week ago but suddenly will have the chance to make the roster with strong showings in preseason. Spann in particular has done very well in training camp.

2. More from the wideouts

The continued rehabilitation of Santonio Holmes from last year’s season-ending Lisfranc injury is well-trod turf, and his inability to return to the field to date means there is plenty of competition at wide receiver. Clyde Gates took a significant step forward this offseason and it showed last Friday in Detroit with three catches for 39 yards. In addition, Ben Obomanu and undrafted rookie free agent Zach Rogers both made strong statements in the last preseason game but things are far from settled. Chris Pantale is trying to make a name for himself and has turned heads in training camp. With a good game on Saturday night he could solidify his roster spot.

3. Getting defensive about depth

The first-team defense looks solid for the Jets and could be a top unit in the league but after the starters, there is precious little depth up and down this side of the ball. The safety position needs sorting out with Jaiquawn Jarrett working with the starters this week alongside Dawan Landry. The Jets also need more consistency from Antonio Allen and Josh Bush. At linebacker, Ricky Sapp struggled last week with penalties and needs a strong showing against the Jaguars to turn around what had been a bright preseason until that point. Along the defensive line, the depth at nose tackle needs help with Damon Harrison and Junior Aumavae failing to claim the position to date.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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