AFC Notes: Bills, Jets, Patriots


  • The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia notes even with the Bills missing TE Dawson Knox, TE O.J. Howard saw no snaps with the first-team offense. He thinks Howard could be a potential trade or even cut candidate to end the preseason. 
  • He adds the team’s comments and playing time decisions indicate CB Dane Jackson is locked in as a starter to open the season. 
  • Bills sixth-round P Matt Araiza was the holder for the second straight preseason game, which Buscaglia points out is a tell he’s probably the favorite to win the punter battle over veteran Matt Haack.


The third of the Jets’ three first-round picks this year, DE Jermaine Johnson‘s path to significant playing time is a little less clear. He’s been coming off the bench so far in camp while first-round CB Ahmad Gardner and WR Garrett Wilson are already starting. 

“However I can help the team win is honestly how I look at it,” Johnson said via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. “I practice like I’m a [undrafted] free agent anyway, so I don’t really care. It’s like I’m fighting for my life. That’s how I am, what I believe and how I practice — and it just lines up perfectly with what Coach Saleh is all about: Practicing hard, balls to the wall, giving 110 percent not only for yourself but for the team.”

The Jets are also much deeper at defensive end than they are at corner or wide receiver. They rotate more at that position than any other, however, which gives Johnson an opportunity. Jets HC Robert Saleh says Johnson still needs to round out his game to earn those snaps. 

“The power game has to be a big part of what he does because his hand-eye coordination and his movement — ability to win one-on-ones — is pretty good,” Saleh said. “He’s just got to learn how to bring all that power and make it a guessing game to give himself a three-way go.”


There’s a lot of concern over the Patriots’ plan to rely on Matt Patricia and Joe Judge as their primary offensive coaches when neither has coached much more than defense or special teams to this point. If it was anyone besides HC Bill Belichick engineering this plan, it would garner even more criticism. Recently retired Patriots RB James White, however, believes Belichick knows what he’s doing. 

“I have high confidence in it because a lot of coaches, especially here, they’ve coached on the defensive side, the offensive side, they coach different positions. I think that’s the beautiful thing about coaching here — you’re going to learn the game from all different angles,” he said via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “And Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, they’ve seen a lot of football from different vantage points. I think it will all work out. They’re learning. It’s a learning curve for everyone.”

  • Reiss mentions Patriots second-round WR Tyquan Thornton‘s collarbone injury could open up a roster spot for WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey when the rookie goes on IR at the beginning of the season. 
  • Thornton is expected to miss around eight weeks with what was diagnosed as a fractured clavicle. (Mike Giardi)

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