FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Jets have a big hole to fill on the right side of the line and their healthy in-house options are Chuma Edoga and rookie Max Mitchell.
“That right tackle spot is open,” Saleh said.
That could change if the Jets sign a veteran such as Duane Brown to play left tackle and slide George Fant over to the right side to replace Mekhi Becton, who is likely out for the season with a fractured kneecap. But the Jets need someone to start at right tackle in Friday’s preseason opener in Philadelphia.
Saleh wouldn’t divulge whether it would be Edoga or Mitchell, both of whom have gotten first-team reps. Conor McDermott will be thrown into the mix when he returns from an ankle injury, but it would be surprising if the Jets didn’t bring in a proven starter to bolster the line for Zach Wilson.
“The most important thing — no offense to anyone else on the team — is to protect the quarterback,” Saleh said. “So, the person who’s best prepared to protect the quarterback will be out there.”
Mitchell may not get the job, but the former Louisiana tackle viewed as a developmental player when the Jets drafted him in the fourth round has gotten their attention.
“Love his play demeanor, love his mindset, love where he’s at with regards to responsibility and execution,” Saleh said. “Obviously, he’s got a way to go with regards to understanding pass sets and how to play in those one-on-one situations, and same thing in the run game. He’s learning.
“I promise, he’s never seen ends like we have, and they’re all like that in the NFL. They’re talented. Like where he’s at. Obviously, he’s got a long way to go, but he’s a lot further along than we thought.”
QB game plan
Saleh said the plan is to play Wilson and the starting offense for a series or two on Friday. If they have a good possession on the first drive Saleh said, “we’ll call it a day.” Joe Flacco will be QB2 and Mike White QB3.
Greg Zuerlein was 5-for-5 on field-goal tries in practice while Eddy Pineiro was 4 of 5. He missed one from 43 yards away. Saleh said the competition is “neck-and-neck” right now. The preseason will determine the Jets’ kicker this year.
“Fans, don’t get mad,” Saleh said. “There are going to be some fourth downs where we send the kicking unit out instead of going for it. It’s for a reason, to see where those guys are at.”