Michael Clemons #72, New York Jets defensive lineman, left, makes...

Michael Clemons #72, New York Jets defensive lineman, left, makes contact with an official during a scrum between the Jets and Miami Dolphins in the fourth quarter of a NFL game played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. He was ejected for the infraction. Credit: James Escher

Why was Allen Lazard inactive?

Robert Saleh decided to make Lazard a healthy scratch and challenged the sixth-year receiver to improve his play.

Lazard has been a disappointment since signing a four-year, $44 million contract in free agency. He had no catches last week and has only 20 all season. Lazard also has at least five drops.

Saleh intimated that Lazard could be gone after the 2024 season, which is when his contract is no longer guaranteed.

“There’s things that we all need to get better at, including him,” Saleh said. “He’s going to be here for the next year and a half. He’s going to be a part of this.

“One, I wanted to give some of the young guys an opportunity to play. It’s kind of a challenge to see if he can recapture his edge and who he is and the person we have a lot of faith in. He’s a good football player. I do believe that. For Allen, he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”

Later, Saleh said: “Edge is probably the wrong word. I don’t think he’s played up to his standard. Everyone’s kind of pressing on that side of the ball trying to make something happen. There’s just obviously parts of his game that need to get better.”  

Is Saleh concerned about his job being in trouble?

He said he’s “not worried.”  

Is Saleh considering changing the offensive play-caller?

He said offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett will continue to call the plays. Saleh said “it’s a little bit of everything” that has led to the offensive issues, including the calls, execution and losing individual matchups.

“Do I think play-caller will fix that?” Saleh said. “I don’t know.”  

Will Saleh turn to Trevor Siemian to play quarterback?

Siemian has played more games and been more successful than Tim Boyle and Zach Wilson in the NFL.

But Saleh said, “I’m not there yet.”

How did the O-line look?

Different. What else is new?

They also allowed a lot of sacks (seven). What else is new?

The Jets started a different offensive line combination for the seventh straight game and eighth time this season.

Left tackle Mekhi Becton was inactive because of an ankle injury. It was the first game Becton has missed this season. Laken Tomlinson is the only offensive lineman to start all 11 games.

Rookie Carter Warren got his first start at left tackle, with Tomlinson at left guard, Joe Tippmann at center, Xavier Newman at right guard and Max Mitchell the right tackle.

Duane Brown was active but didn’t play.

Saleh said they’re hoping Becton can return next game.

Did anyone get injured?

Cornerback D.J. Reed told Newsday he hurt his ribs and was going to get X-rays. He’s hoping they’re just bruised.  

What happened on that third-quarter skirmish?

Dolphins offensive lineman Austin Jackson threw a punch and was ejected after the Dolphins’ extra point made it 27-6. C.J. Mosley was hit with an unnecessary-roughness penalty and Micheal Clemons was thrown out for making contact with an official. It appeared to be accidental.

“The one with C.J., it’s a glancing blow on the helmet, shouldn’t have been called,” Saleh said. “The scrum on the field goal with Micheal, it was inadvertent, he accidentally hit the referee, but it’s still a foul.”

 With Tom Rock

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