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Jets’ Juston Burris plays his way back into nickel slot

New York Jets cornerback Juston Burris (32) sits

New York Jets cornerback Juston Burris (32) sits on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. The Steelers won 31-13. Photo Credit: AP / Don Wright

Jets coach Todd Bowles has said that players have to earn playing time. It doesn’t matter where they’re drafted or how much money they make.

Jets cornerback Juston Burris has learned that. He’s learned patience, too.

Burris started the season as the nickel cornerback but lost the job because of ineffective play. He went four games without any defensive snaps. In the last two games, however, he has emerged as the nickel cornerback and played 88 snaps.

“Keep focus. I was getting snaps just on special teams. That was where my role was and that’s where I needed to dominate,” he said. “So whatever role they put me in, I’m here to help the team.”

The Jets have been searching for a third cornerback most of the season, shuffling between Darryl Roberts, Rashard Robinson and Burris. Robinson was acquired at the trade deadline for a fifth-round pick, and his inconsistency pushed Bowles to make him a healthy scratch for Sunday’s 14-7 loss to the Chargers.

“Keep your head down, keep moving, don’t get discouraged,” Burris said. “Early in the season, I was playing the nickel, had a bad game, played sparingly. I never got down on myself. I knew my time would come in the end. I’m in this league for a reason and I just got to keep showing it.”

Injury report

The Jets played against the Chargers with three starting offensive linemen out with health issues. Center Wesley Johnson (hip) was replaced by Jonotthan Harrison, right guard Brian Winters (abdomen) was replaced by Dakota Dozier and right tackle Brandon Shell left at the end of the first half with a concussion, with Brent Qvale subbing in. Starting defensive end Leonard Williams left in the second half with a lower-back injury.

Jet streams

Bilal Powell has four runs of at least 40 yards this season, the most in franchise history . . . Xavier Cooper knocked down a pass, giving the Jets’ defensive line 15 knockdowns, tied for second in the NFL and the most by the Jets since 2001. That group knocked down 18 passes.

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