Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

Ryan Spadola has seven catches for 169 yards and a touchdown in the preseason. Credit: Getty Images
Ryan Spadola has seven catches for 169 yards and a touchdown in the preseason.
Credit: Getty Images

A bunch of players who probably won’t be here next week feature for the Jets on Aug. 29 (7 p.m., CBS) in the fourth and final preseason game against the Eagles.

Rookies and players currently on the roster looking to make the cut down to the 53-man roster or the practice squad will get most of the reps.

Three things to watch for …

1. QB depth

Mark Sanchez won’t starting the game for the Jets — or even making an ill-advised fourth quarter cameo — as the “Sanchise” has been ruled out of this game by head coach Rex Ryan with a shoulder injury. Geno Smith, who could very well be the starter in Week 1 depending on that shoulder injury, will also get the night off. Matt Simms, who performed very well in the fourth quarter and in overtime in Saturday, will start and try to make his case for the third-string job. A leg injury might keep Greg McElroy off the field as well, disappointing news as he looked very sharp in training camp. The Jets signed former Packers quarterback Graham Harrell, who is a good fit in the West Coast offense. He might get a lot of snaps in this game behind Simms, who seems to have the inside track on the No. 3 quarterback spot.

2. Sorting out defense

The first-team defense has had some ups and plenty of downs in preseason, making it a point of emphasis for the unit to find some depth and playmakers to fill out the roster. Players who could make the roster with a strong showing include linebacker Ricky Sapp and defensive linemen Lanier Coleman and Leger Douzable.

“Any time you get a chance to play and make an impact, you want that chance,” defensive back Royce Adams told Metro. “So you always want to prove yourself and that you can contribute in a variety of ways.”

3. Chrebet, Part II

Former Lehigh wide receiver Ryan Spadola is drawing comparisons to Jets legend Wayne Chrebet, who was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Hofstra who made the Jets on grit and determination. After a solid training camp and now three good games in preseason, including a clutch against last Saturday against the Giants, Spadola looks likely to make the roster. He called this the “most important week in my life” as Thursday presents him an opportunity to make the final cut.

“I think, obviously, this is basically a job interview. Everyone is here competing for a job. Rex always preaches about competition,” Spadola said. “We’re all here to better each other. I think that comes through when everyone is working hard, everyone is giving 110 percent. At the end of the day everything kind of shuffles out. You really can’t dwell on that. You got to really focus on what is your assignment is and try to do your part as best way you possibly can.”

The Jets need wide receivers and with good routes and solid hands, Spadola can add something to the Jets.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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