Former First Rounder Set for Jets Debut, Draft Bust Gets Chance at Redemption

New York Jets

Getty Several New York Jets players warming up ahead of an intense training camp practice.

The upcoming Week 8 matchup between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals is going to be very interesting for a lot of different reasons.

Mike White is set to make his first career NFL start with Zach Wilson on the shelf for the foreseeable future. Of course, it’ll come against arguably the hottest team in football, Cincinnati, who just took out the Baltimore Ravens.

It’ll also feature a fascinating debut and a chance at redemption among the coolest storylines ahead of this contest.

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Time to See What All the Hype Was About

The Jets’ coaching staff and front office shocked the fan base during free agency when they spent their very first dollars on linebacker Jarrad Davis.

On the surface, he is a talented former first-rounder that couldn’t find his footing in an uneven situation in Detroit. The coaching staff couldn’t stop raving about him in the offseason and how much of a perfect fit he was in their new 4-3 scheme.

Then Davis hurt his ankle during the preseason vs the Green Bay Packers and he has been on the shelf ever since.

On Saturday afternoon the Jets activated him off of injured reserve which means he’ll make his green and white debut vs the Cincinnati Bengals.

Now it’s time to see what all the hype was about.

Obviously, this Jets coaching staff had a vision when all of this started and despite some criticism from the fan base when Davis was initially signed, this group deserves the benefit of the doubt.

In particular, Jets head coach Robert Saleh cut his teeth as a linebacker whisperer and has often transformed chicken s*** into chicken salad.

It’s time to see what his vision was with Davis and boy do the Jets need it after that disaster of a performance vs the New England Patriots last week.

Also, CJ Mosley is officially questionable heading into this game, but the expectation is he’ll be ready to go after missing last week with a hamstring injury.

Redemption Is the Name of the Game

General manager Joe Douglas has been catching a lot of heat lately for some of his apparent misses in the 2020 NFL draft.

Although on Sunday one of his busts will have a juicy chance at redemption.

The Jets promoted Jabari Zuniga from the practice squad on Saturday along with veteran quarterback Josh Johnson.

That means Joe Flacco will be inactive less than a week after the team traded for him.

It also is a golden opportunity for Zuniga to show he belongs. After initially being taken with the No. 79 overall pick in the third round of the 2020 draft, he just couldn’t consistently find a way on the field.

In Zuniga’s rookie season he missed half of the year (eight games) due to injury and the moments he was on the field were unspectacular:

  • Five combined tackles
  • Never started a game

Then ahead of final roster cuts the 24-year-old was handed his walking papers. The Jets ended up bringing him back on the practice squad, but cutting a third-rounder a year after taking him is an admission of failure.

Now he’ll have a chance to show what he’s made of in a rotational role. Zuniga will have a rare chance to jump in the time machine to re-write his own epitaph after a disappointing start to his NFL career.

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