Breece Hall will play against the Buffalo Bills for the first time in his NFL career in Week 1 on Monday Night Football.
“We are not going to practice Breece [today] but that’s nothing wrong with that it’s just part of the maintenance program,” Saleh told the media. “I don’t know if I want to call it a snap count but we’re going to be smart with him.”
Neither Hall nor new addition Dalvin Cook will be on any sort of pitch count heading into the season opener, according to the head coach.
Hall’s Presence Will Change the Jets-Bills Game
The Jets split with their AFC East rivals last season with each side taking a win. Gang Green was able to pull that off despite not having one of its brightest starts in Hall available.
Prior to getting hurt, Hall seemed to be on an Offensive Rookie of the Year trajectory.
In seven games, Hall accumulated over 681 yards from scrimmage, scored five total touchdowns, and averaged 6.9 yards scrimmage yards per touch.
Every time Hall touches the ball there’s a chance it could be a house call. The mere threat of that is something the Bills defense will have to account for on a play-to-play basis.
Saleh isn’t planning on putting Hall on a pitch count in this game, but he did say that they would play it smart. Keep this in mind, Hall hasn’t played an NFL snap since October 23 of 2022. He has slowly been worked into the practice reps over the last handful of weeks.
Even though Hall won’t be getting 25-30 touches, that doesn’t mean you can’t maximize his impact. The Jets can sometimes choose to put him on the field as a decoy to set something else up offensively.
Expect the Cook Show to Be on Full Display vs. Bills
Saleh also mentioned that Cook would be full go versus Buffalo on September 11.
He had offseason shoulder surgery and hasn’t practiced for the majority of the offseason as he was choosing his next NFL team.
However, the plan is for the Jets to ride Cook until the wheels come off.
ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano said that Cook “will likely open the season as something close to a three-down back” in an article posted on August 31.
The Jets didn’t pay him $7 million to play pattycake and look pretty. Gang Green invested those dollars to get an offensive impact and to afford the luxury of working Hall back slowly into the system.
Without the presence of Cook on the team, the Jets might have been tempted to rush him back sooner than they’d like due to lack of proven options in the backfield.
Expect an appearance by all of the available running backs for the Jets against the Bills. Cook should get the bulk of the work with Hall and Michael Carter working in as well.