Robert Saleh’s third season as head coach of the New York Jets will kick off Monday Night against the Buffalo Bills in a key AFC East showdown.
Probably the best news for Saleh and the Jets is that they expect to have their entire offense healthy and prepared for the season opener. New York’s head coach confirmed that they expect to have everyone practicing throughout the week and should be primed against Buffalo.
That means that Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook, two running backs who are coming off of surgery, will be playing Week 1.
While the Jets expect Hall and Cook to have no limitations Monday night, Saleh confirmed that the organization will be smart with how many snaps each player will get, especially early in the season.
“I don’t know if I want to call it a ‘snap count’ but we’ll be smart with them both. We’ll continue to evaluate and build up to what we think Monday needs to be,” Saleh told reporters Monday morning.
Saleh did confirm that Hall would not practice with the team today but said it was merely for “maintenance purposes” as the team increases his workload following ACL surgery last season.
Before his ACL injury, Hall was on pace to run away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. The Iowa State product was averaging close to seven yards a touch and almost 700 yards of total offense by the midway point of the year. Since returning to the practice field, Hall has been a consistent presence as the lead back.
Of course, the expectation now is that he’ll have to share those duties with Cook. Cook is coming off off-season shoulder surgery but is expected to be 100% for the start of the year. Despite the free-agent acquisition’s aura of being a four-time Pro Bowl running back, the Jets also want to make sure that snaps are distributed fairly early on in 2023.
“It’s not that we’re putting a snap count on them, it’s just they are two really good football players,” Saleh added. “Michael Carter is a really good football player (too) and we’re just trying to find a way to feature all of them, along with the receivers and tight ends that we have.”
New York will need all hands on deck to knock off the Bills in front of their home crowd Monday Night. Buffalo has won the division the last three seasons and returns a bevy of superstars.
One of those stars won’t be playing against the Jets. Von Miller has remained on the PUP list and will miss the first four games of the 2023 season. While a huge blow to Buffalo’s pass rush, Saleh understands that their defense is still a formidable unit.
“Von Miller is a phenomenal football player but that’s not going to change (Buffalo’s) ability to get after the passer,” Saleh told AMNY.
Having a strong rushing attack will certainly help slow down the Bills’ pass rush in many ways. Being able to utilize Cook and Hall will be extremely important, not just for the Jets’ success in Week 1 but for their continued success throughout the 2023 season.
They may receive fewer snaps than they are used to, but if it helps in giving Gang Green the edge against a key divisional opponent, then it’ll be worth it down the road.
Jets vs. Bills Week 1: Dalvin Cook, Breece Hall Anytime TD Scorer odds
- Breece Hall: +130
- Dalvin Cook: +180
Odds courtesy of DraftKings.