AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • Dolphins LT Austin Jackson said it felt reassuring to hear HC Brian Flores call him the starter after missing the past week on the COVID-19 list. (Marcel Louis-Jacques)
  • Dolphins WR Will Fuller didn’t attend Thursday’s practice due to a personal matter that isn’t injury-related. (Cameron Wolfe)


Jets OT George Fant held off a challenge from veteran OT Morgan Moses, who was signed earlier this summer, and opened Week 1 as the team’s starting right tackle. However, the competition wasn’t an unfriendly one, and now both men will be bookend tackles following the injury to Jets LT Mekhi Becton

“I think the part that made it so cool, we worked out a lot together [in] previous offseasons,” said Fant via Mollie Walker of the New York Post. “Man, I learned a lot from him. Another thing that made it cool is like it wasn’t one of those competitions where we weren’t speaking to each other. The whole time we were coaching each other up, like, ‘What did you see here? What did you see there?’”

The two are under a lot of pressure to ensure they immediately raise the level of play for the Jets’ offensive line, who allowed first-round QB Zach Wilson to be sacked six times in Week 1’s loss to the Panthers. 

“I think the most important thing is that, you know, we got that out of the way,” Moses said. “We look at the film, we know the corrections that we need to make and we need to be all on one accord. I think the biggest thing is knowing you have a young quarterback, you want to keep him upright, you want to keep them from being on the ground because at the end of the day, as much as a person wants to say it doesn’t affect them, it does affect them.”


Sunday marked Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower‘s first football game in 20 months after the veteran opted out of the 2020 season. He finished the game with four tackles and acknowledged there’s some rust to knock off. 

“We didn’t get the win, that’s the most important thing,” Hightower said via NESN’s Zack Cox. “Win or loss, I always look for room for improvement, and that’s obviously there. I pride myself on being, not the smartest guy, but I definitely want to push up my awareness as far as situational awareness goes. Just all around, I want to play better, obviously. It’s coming along, but obviously I want to play a lot better, be a little bit more impactful.”

  • Patriots TE Hunter Henry was impressed with QB Mac Jones‘ toughness on Sunday: “Just standing in the pocket and taking hits? That shows a lot to us, as guys. A guy who’s going to stand in there no matter what and deliver the ball – it was big to see.” (Boston Herald)

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