Robert Saleh will look across the field on Sunday and see hope.
The Bengals were where the Jets are two years ago. They were a 2-14 team that looked hopeless, but they are now 5-2 and look to be one of the better teams in the AFC. It gives the Jets, and head coach Saleh, hope that maybe they can turn things around as quickly.
“They’re a pretty cool blueprint to look at, with regards to how to build an organization, how to build a roster and get it back on track to where you’re winning consistently,” Saleh said.
The Bengals stuck with coach Zac Taylor, who went 6-25-1 in his first two years, and the continuity has paid off. They drafted Joe Burrow with the No. 1-overall pick in 2020, and Burrow is having a monster sophomore season after his rookie season ended when he tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in the Bengals’ 10th game.
The addition of Ja’Marr Chase at wide receiver and some other shrewd personnel decisions have the Bengals in a place where the Jets can only hope they will be in two years.
Saleh faced the 2019 Bengals team as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator when San Francisco pounded Cincinnati 41-17.
“They’ve been steadfast with regards to continuity, building it the right way, bringing in the people that they need to match not only what they do schematically, but the youth, allowing the youth to grow, and together, they’ve grown together,” Saleh said. “They get a couple of pieces that unlock the entire thing with Ja’Marr, [Tee] Higgins, [Tyler] Boyd. They get some play makers in there and I feel like we’re right there.
“We’ve got a very young football team and we’ve got a lot of really cool pieces to work with and we got a mixture of veterans that we can grow with that aren’t like they’re over the hill. Like Corey Davis is, what is he, 26 years old, so he’s got a chance to grow with us too and there’s a lot of guys like that.”
The Jets did not put QB Zach Wilson (knee) on IR on Saturday, meaning they believe he could be able to return for their Nov. 14 game against the Bills. If Wilson had been placed on IR, he would have had to miss at least three games.
The Jets activated LB Jarrad Davis off IR and he will play his first game for the Jets on Sunday. They also signed LB Noah Dawkins to the active roster off the practice squad. They released S Jarrod Wilson to clear the roster spot. The Jets also elevated QB Josh Johnson and DE Jabari Zuniga from the practice squad. Johnson will serve as Mike White’s backup on Sunday with Joe Flacco expected to be inactive for the game.