While the Jets prepare to give one of their other quarterbacks a shot this week, replacing Zach Wilson with Mike White under center, New York's elite defense might have another chance to face a backup quarterback this week.
Bears QB Justin Fields is questionable for Sunday's matchup at MetLife Stadium, working through a left shoulder injury.
"We’re preparing for him," Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters on Friday. "If he plays, we’ll hit him. If he doesn’t play, we will do our best to hit the next guy."
If Fields can't go on Sunday, Chicago will turn to ex-Jet and Northwestern Wildcat Trevor Siemian.
Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich walked through the challenges of prepping for multiple quarterbacks. It's even tougher when one of them is, in Ulbrich's words, "one of the most dynamic runners in the NFL right now."
Fields has rushed for 834 yards in 11 games this season on 122 carries, scoring seven touchdowns on the ground. He's more than just a mobile quarterback, though. The former first-rounder has also thrown for 1,642 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
"[Fields has] phenomenal arm talent, which he doesn’t get enough credit for," Ulbrich added. "I think he’s growing, as far as seeing the game and understanding the game, but the arm talent is absolutely there, he can throw a deep ball, he’s got great touch and feel and power and he’s got receivers who can go get it. He is a very interesting challenge for us. It’s different than what we face from week to week."
Saleh and Ulbrich both alluded to some familiarity against signal-callers like Fields, who can sling it downfield while also taking off and making plays with their legs. Saleh mentioned Josh Allen, who the Jets have faced once this season, beating him and the Bills in Week 9. Ulbrich referenced his time with the Falcons, playing against Cam Newton during his prime with the Panthers.
Chicago is 3-8 this season and they have the worst passing offense in the NFL, averaging just 128.1 yards per game. That said, and factoring in Fields' explosiveness on the ground, the Bears have the very best rushing attack in football, averaging 197.9 rushing yards per game.
"As far as their offense, their structure, their run game, all of that stuff, both [quarterbacks] can do it at a high level," Saleh said. "So, we’re just adding the QB run game aspect to it."
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