The Jets have five weeks left in this miserable season. They are going nowhere. So, they should be evaluating their roster now to see who to hang on to in 2019.
With Sam Darnold, Chris Herndon and Nathan Shepherd already playing major roles, the Jets have a good number of young players already in their lineup. But there are others who have been on the bench who could use some playing time.
Start at running back, where Elijah McGuire has begun to get a big role, and that should continue. I would give Trenton Cannon more playing time, too. The rookie from Virginia State is one of the few explosive players the Jets have and is a big-play threat they lack.
Both tight end Jordan Leggett and wide receiver Deontay Burnett have shown promise in limited roles this season. I’d like to see more of them.
On defense, the Jets should try to work in cornerbacks Derrick Jones and Parry Nickerson. Jones had a really strong training camp, but has been inactive for every game this season. He showed enough promise in August to warrant some playing time in December. Nickerson did a solid job filling in for an injured Buster Skrine, but has been tethered to the bench since Skrine returned.
Rookie defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi was active for the first time Sunday, a sign he may see more playing time down the stretch.
The 2018 season is over. It is time to look ahead to 2019 with some of these younger players.
The Jets gave up 498 yards against the Patriots on Sunday, the second-most they have allowed under Todd Bowles. Five of the 10 worst days in terms of yardage allowed in Bowles’ four years have come this season. Here’s a look: