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C.J. Mosley looking forward to playing his first home game with Jets in two years

Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley during the first half

Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley during the first half against the New England Patriots on Oct. 21, 2019, at MetLife Stadium. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – The last time C.J. Mosley played at MetLife Stadium, the pandemic wasn’t a thing, Sam Darnold was the quarterback and Adam Gase was still calling the shots. Plenty of things have changed since then but for the Jets linebacker, it’s the few little blips of normalcy that will make Sunday’s game against the Patriots so special.

"I would assume that everybody’s going to have chills because I know it’s going to be rocking, especially having all the fans back," he said Friday. "We’re going to be in all white, we’ve got a division opponent, we’ve got the Patriots, so we’ve got all the checkmarks to make the Jets chant get louder and louder, and hopefully, we’ll be hearing it at the end of the game as well."

Mosley opted out of last year because of COVID-19 and missed all but two games in 2019 with a groin injury. He totaled four tackles in the Week 1 loss to Carolina. He had long awaited his return, and the Jets, apparently, had been waiting for him right back. He’s a captain and is wearing a microphone in his helmet this year, becoming the Jets third defensive playcaller. Above that, he’s set to help the Jets navigate a few injuries, while mentoring the two rookies alongside him: Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood. It’s clear he takes the position seriously, and it’s also clear that the two years away from the game was difficult.

"it was just fun," Mosley said of Week 1, despite the loss. "It was fun to fly around, it was fun to have that experience, just talking to my teammates on the sideline, making adjustments, having those small conversations with the refs, talking to players on the other side. When you get back in, you don’t think about the little things that happen, the game within the game. It was just fun to be back around all the action.

Their test against Bill Belichick and the Patriots in Week 2 will be a significant one. They'll be going up against rookie quarterback Mac Jones, but it’s still a Belichick offense – and one the Jets haven’t defeated in the last 10 tries.

"As far as being a captain, I really wanted to make sure that the defense and everybody knows what this game means," Mosley said. "Besides it being the Patriots, this is a division game – you know, there’s consequences. We’ve just got to make sure we’re coming to this game poised, executing our game plan."

Notes & quotes: WRs Jamison Crowder (groin) and Keelan Cole (knee) look as if they’ll be available to play Sunday, coach Robert Saleh said. "I don’t want to jinx it," he said, adding he still needed to see how they responded to Friday’s practice…Saleh confirmed that starting left tackle Mekhi Becton will have surgery to fix the dislocated kneecap he suffered last week during the Jets’ loss to Carolina. Becton is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks.

New York Sports