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Jets' Elijah Moore Reflects on Journey From Trade Request to First Touchdown in 2022

Elijah Moore had his first impactful game of the season on Sunday against the Bears, distancing himself from his trade request before the trade deadline.
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Sometimes the best way to mend a toxic relationship with someone—or in this case, something—is to have a candid conversation.

That's why Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore took the football aside on Saturday, leading up to Sunday's game against the Bears, telling the pigskin just how much he misses it.

"I was like, 'damn you already know how I feel about you,'" Moore recalled in a presser with reporters after a 31-10 win over Chicago. "I was kissing her and telling her it's going to happen soon. Be patient, it's going to come."

Moore had been a nonfactor for much of this season on offense, a significant reversal from his dynamic rookie season, leading the Jets with 538 receiving yards in 11 games. Eventually, the wideout requested a trade, a product of his building frustration with his lack of usage and lack of touches. 

One month later, Moore played a key role in New York's offensive outburst against the Bears, hauling in his first touchdown of the season. His 22-yard touchdown grab came in the third quarter, a score that gave the Jets a 14-point lead. Moore also had a 42-yard catch in the second quarter, the other reception from his 64-yard day at MetLife Stadium.

"No one more deserving than him," said rookie receiver Garrett Wilson, who had two touchdowns in the win. "[Elijah] comes in and puts his head down every day and goes to work. Despite what people were thinking on the outside. Only we know what's really going on in the facility and that's a really good teammate and player. To see him get what he deserves today, I was really excited. I expect a lot more just like that from that boy coming soon."

Moore smile when asked about his journey this season, a campaign full of speculation, strife and now a taste of success. 

"I just really put my head down," he said. "At the end of the day, everyone is going to go through something. This is my story. I'm just thankful that this is how it's going to be written. We've got another game, another week and I'm ready to put my best foot forward for that week too. If I scored or not, I'm just glad I was part of the win. It feels good to win."

Moore was particularly pleased with how backup quarterback Mike White spread the love on offense in his first start of the season, completing a pass to 10 different Jets players. When Zach Wilson was under center—from Week 4 to Week 11—Moore had a grand total of six catches for 81 yards. At one point, when asked about his chemistry with the QB, Moore said he didn't know how to answer the question because Wilson doesn't throw him the ball.

"He's always been a great kid," head coach Robert Saleh told reporters after the win. "I know that whatever happened with the trade request, that's not him. I feel like he's been working his tail off, being patient and trusting the process, just focusing on the things he's got control over. It was just good to see him get production."


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