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Darron Lee inactive, Muhammad Wilkerson benched as discipline, source says

Jets linebacker Darron Lee celebrates after stopping the

Jets linebacker Darron Lee celebrates after stopping the Browns on fourth and one during the second half on Oct. 8, 2017, in Cleveland. Credit: AP / Ron Schwane

Jets coach Todd Bowles disciplined two players for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

According to a source, Bowles suspended starting linebacker Darron Lee for being late to Saturday’s walk-through practice. Starting defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was benched for the majority of the first quarter because he was late to a meeting the same day.

Bowles wouldn’t get into specifics about the discipline.

“You make coach’s decisions every week,” he said. “You’re disappointed. You move on and you handle it and take care of it and you don’t let it linger. You move to the next week.”

Lee, who wasn’t available in the locker room after the Jets’ 38-31 victory, had played in every game this season and was second on the team in tackles with 86. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Julian Stanford.

Wilkerson didn’t enter until 39 seconds remained in the first quarter. The Jets opened the game in a nickel defense and used two defensive linemen, Leonard Williams and Steve McLendon, on the first play. After that, they used their usual rotation of defensive linemen, this time without Wilkerson.

“It was a coach’s decision,” said Wilkerson, who led the team with six tackles and had a half-sack. “We spoke about it and felt like it was best . . . for the team, and that’s that.”

This isn’t the first time Wilkerson has been disciplined by Bowles, but he is one of the Jets’ leaders. This latest infraction raises questions about his commitment to the team.

“There is no issue. We have rules, we make rules,” Bowles said. “We have coach’s decisions. We make them and we move on. I’m not going to stand here and detail everything that is wrong with every one of my players.”

New York Sports