Jets running back Michael Carter (32) stiff arms New England...

Jets running back Michael Carter (32) stiff arms New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) during the first half of the New England Patriots at the New York Jets on September 24, 2023. Credit: Lee S. Weissman/Lee S. Weissman

What happened during the sideline exchange between running back Michael Carter and running backs coach Taylor Embree?

Carter took the blame.

“I have to control myself,” he said. “I know better.”

Carter noted that the argument was the result of two competitive people having an animated conversation. He insisted it had nothing to do with any specific assignment or play.

“People are going to say what they want to say about it, but if you’ve never been on an NFL football field, strapped it up and played for something important, then they can’t relate to me,” Carter said. “To my guys and anybody who saw it, people know that’s not me . . . I love the game and Embree knows that. And he loves the game too. We’re both alphas and we butt heads sometimes. But that’s the first time I ever even spatted off with anybody in a game.”

Carter went on to say that he and his coach smoothed things over shortly after the flare-up.  

Does that incident, along with another exchange involving Garrett Wilson, Zach Wilson and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, indicate a level of frustration?

It would seem so, but Carter doesn’t see it that way.

“I think that’s a reach,” he said. “Frustrated is not the word. We’re eager. Because we know how good we are. We just want to win.”  

Why did Sauce Gardner shove Patriots quarterback Mac Jones after a sneak in the third quarter?

Gardner said it was because after the play, Jones stuck out his hand for help up from the ground and Gardner refused it. Then, when Jones did get to his feet, he “hit me in my private parts,” according to Gardner.

“That’s probably the first time that’s ever happened to me,” Gardner said. “I didn’t react how I wanted to, but that was just the reaction that came after that. I definitely wasn’t expecting that.”

Maybe he should have been. Last season Jones was involved in a play against Chicago in which he slid after a scramble and raised his foot to connect with Jacquan Brisker in a similar area.

Jones, asked about the Gardner interaction, called it “just football” and said, “It’s a physical game.” He also said he didn’t think he hit Gardner with a low blow. Neither was flagged for a penalty.  

Will the Jets sign a third quarterback this week?

It’s surprising they didn’t in the days after Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending Achilles tear. You would think they’re going to make a move.

According to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan reached out to the Jets about joining them and were rebuffed.

“I’m not going to address that,” coach Robert Saleh said.

The Jets are sticking with Zach Wilson and backup Tim Boyle. If they do add a third quarterback, it could be someone who isn’t a threat to Wilson. The Jets say they are giving him the chance to develop and prove he can lead this team.

What were the offensive line shuffles?

Saleh said there would be no changes on Wednesday. Then the Jets made three big changes.

Mekhi Becton slid over from right tackle to his more natural left tackle position after Duane Brown was placed on IR. Alijah Vera-Tucker moved from right guard to right tackle. Rookie Joe Tippmann got his first NFL start at right guard. Center Connor McGovern and left guard Laken Tomlinson remained in their usual positions.

“The way we aligned, that’s what we were practicing all week,” Saleh said. “We’ve been cross-training [Vera-Tucker] to play right tackle just because of the fact that with Mekhi coming off the injury and Duane coming off an injury also, we had to have somebody ready. So we were prepared for this three weeks ago and unfortunately we had to use it.”

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