Steve Weatherford learned yesterday to never take a play off — even when you’re not actually in the game.

Late in the first quarter of their 9-0 loss to the Packers, Jets punter Steve Weatherford called a fake punt with the ball at his own 20-yard line. On the previous two punts, Weatherford saw Green Bay put in a soft effort to block the kick before quickly dropping back into its punt coverage. So the Jets’ punter decided to gamble.

He dashed down the right side for 17 yards — eight more yards than he thought he needed. It turned out, though, it was fourth-and-18.

“It would have been a good decision had it been fourth-and-9, but that’s my fault,” Weatherford said.

The punter missed the previous play when Mark Sanchez was sacked for a nine-yard loss. The next drive Weatherford watched intently from the sideline. It ended with a Mason Crosby 20-yard field goal.

“We told him before that it needed to be a manageable situation, not fourth-and-[18],” Rex Ryan said. “As he was running, I was trying to make sure he knew where the first down marker was. I don’t think he was clear on that. It probably would have been wiser to punt.”

Latest From ...