GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Jets’ secondary won’t get many tougher challenges than what it is facing this week.
Jets defensive backs are getting tested by one of the best quarterbacks of all time in Packers star Aaron Rodgers during joint practices Wednesday and Thursday. The two teams play a preseason game Saturday, but Rodgers is not expected to play.
“You’re going to get the best of the best practicing against him and his weapons, his wide receiving corps, the offensive scheme is definitely good,” safety Marcus Maye said after practice Wednesday. “Just practicing against it and going against it leading up to the game will be good for us.”
Rodgers got the best of the defense several times during Wednesday’s practice, including a 30-yard pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who got behind the defense and was wide open for a touchdown during a two-minute drill.
“He’s done this a million times,” Maye said. “This is not his first rodeo at all. It’s a practice so it’s routine to him at this point. Going against it and seeing it throughout the week is definitely good.”
Jets coach Robert Saleh said Rodgers can only help his young secondary learn.
“I don’t know if it’s a test but, I think it’s a great challenge because this group is pretty darn good group,” Saleh said. “It’s an experienced group. Aaron, obviously, is a Hall of Fame quarterback. Davante [Adams] is an All-Pro wide receiver. So, it’s a really good chance for them to see different players, but we think our receiver group is pretty good, too. But to be able to go against different players, different releases, different schemes, is a great challenge for them.”
Guard Alex Lewis has decided to retire, a source confirmed. Lewis left practice on Aug. 5 with an apparent head injury. The Jets placed him on the reserve/left squad list last week, ending his season.which meant he could not return to the NFL this year.
Lewis came to the Jets in August 2019 from the Ravens in a trade. He started 21 games in two years with the team. The Jets drafted Alijah Vera-Tucker to take Lewis’ starting spot this April. The team then asked Lewis to take a pay cut from $5.8 million to $3 million, which he did and the final year of his contract was voided, allowing him to be a free agent in 2022. Lewis skipped the voluntary offseason program, a sign things were not good between him and the team.
It has been a tumultuous year for Lewis, who left the team last year after arguments with teammates and former coach Adam Gase. He returned in Week 17 after seeking treatment for an undisclosed medical condition only to leave the practice field again that week after a dustup with teammates.
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