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Jets have four-man battle for two starting tackle spots

New York Jets tackle Brent Qvale waits for

New York Jets tackle Brent Qvale waits for the start of a drill during organized team activities practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Todd Bowles said there’s a four-man race for his starting tackle jobs and that he doesn’t expect any decisions to come easily or soon.

“All four guys are going to get a chance to play and rotate with the first team and the second team and we’ll switch them back and forth,” Bowles said Wednesday. “These next two or three weeks are going to be really important. It’s a hell of a battle.”

For now, Kelvin Beachum (left tackle) and Brent Qvale (right) are the starters, as far as the depth chart goes, but Bowles made it clear that Ben Ijalana and/or Brandon Shell could win a spot. Although he’d be willing to go to a rotation, which he did last year at right tackle, Bowles said he would avoid it if possible. The center job, which for much of training camp was presumably Wesley Johnson’s, is also not set, he said. Jonotthan Harrison challenges Johnson there.

“It’s good,” Bowles said of the position battles, adding he wasn’t concerned about first-team continuity. “In case of injury, you’ll have somebody going there anyway and there’ll be some continuity, so it won’t make a difference.”

Surgery for Whitehead

WR Lucky Whitehead will undergo surgery this week on his broken foot. Bowles said he was not sure if Whitehead would miss the rest of the season, but said he would be out for an extended period.

Mauldin gets reprieve

Lorenzo Mauldin appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court Wednesday to answer to his misdemeanor assault charge but did not have to appear in front of a judge after prosecutors failed to file preliminary paperwork, according to the Daily News. Mauldin is accused of beating Jean Lopez, 22, and breaking bones in his face, during a nightclub altercation April 2. Lopez is also suing the linebacker. A new court date was not set.

Jet streams

Robby Anderson made two flashy, one-handed touchdown catches at practice, reeling in a deep pass from Bryce Petty and another throw from Josh McCown . . . Chandler Catanzaro and Ross Martin continue to duke it out for the kicker spot after Catanzaro’s poor day Monday. Catanzaro recovered well from that day, when he missed three field-goal tries, including a 25-yarder, to make all of his attempts Wednesday, including one from 57. Martin matched him kick for kick.

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