After missing three games with a calf injury, Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts is expected to return on Sunday. Don’t expect Bless Austin and Arthur Maulet to take a backseat to the former starter, however.
All three cornerbacks will be used by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams at Cincinnati.
“I think it gives us another guy in the secondary,” head coach Adam Gase said. “I mean, they’ve been rotating all those guys in. Nobody’s really playing from the first snap to the last snap. We’ve been moving all those guys in, giving everybody playing time. Gregg’s got so many different personnel groups. The more guys we can have in the secondary, come on bring them in.”
Roberts was limited in practice all week, but Gase said he’s trending in the right direction to face the Bengals.
Austin and Maulet have performed well as emergency starters, replacing Roberts and Trumaine Johnson, who is out for the season with injuries to both his ankles. Austin, a rookie sixth-round pick from Rutgers, spent the season’s first two months on the reserve/non-football injury list as he recovered from a torn ACL and was activated on Nov. 7. Maulet was cut by the Jets on Oct. 15, re-signed to the practice squad and activated again on Oct. 30.
“I think they’ve played physical. They try to execute the defense that Gregg calls,” Gase said. “Those guys are trying to compete on the ball, stay as tight as they can. I like the fact that they get involved in the run game. … They like mixing it up.”
In three games, Austin has 11 tackles and three passes defensed. Maulet has notched 14 tackles over the last three games as well.
Brian Poole has an early Christmas present for his mother: the ball from his first-ever defensive touchdown. After Poole returned a Derek Carr interception 15 yards for a score in Sunday’s rout of the Raiders, he celebrated the milestone in the stands with Jets fans, only to have the ball taken away.
On Monday, Poole tweeted a request to get the ball back, and by Tuesday, he had it after the Jets made contact with the fan.
“It definitely was nice to get the ball back, for sure,” the slot cornerback said. “I kind of was a little worried, but I had faith I would get it back.”
Poole declined to say what the fan got in return, though he did offer a signed jersey in exchange on Twitter when he was still looking for the ball. He said he planned to give the ball to his mom.
OL Chuma Edoga (knee) and LBs C.J. Mosley (groin) and Paul Worrilow (quad) are out. WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring), OL Alex Lewis (elbow), Kelvin Beachum (ankles), DL Henry Anderson (shoulder) and Steve McLendon (neck) and S Matthias Farley are questionable. They all practiced on Friday on a limited basis.
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