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Jets Q&A: What does Denzel Mims need to do to play?

Jets head coach Robert Saleh looks on against

Jets head coach Robert Saleh looks on against the Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Why was Denzel Mims inactive?

The Jets’ coaches feel that all the other receivers are ahead of Mims on the depth chart, and that he doesn’t deserve to play ahead of Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios, Keelan Cole and Jeff Smith. You can throw Jamison Crowder in there when he returns.

Robert Saleh said Mims needs to work harder and be more versatile to climb up the depth chart. Apparently, Mims, a second-round pick last year, doesn’t know all three receiver spots well enough in the system. He’s also not good enough on special teams to be active ahead of the other receivers.

"That’s really up to him," Saleh said. "He’s got to be better than those guys. That’s the bottom line. We’re an organization that it doesn’t matter. You have to earn your keep. You have to earn your playing time. He’s got to be better than them. As soon as that happens, he’ll be active."

This shouldn’t be that surprising since the second-year receiver was playing with the third-team during training camp. Also, Mims only played three snaps in Week 1 with Crowder and Cole out.

Saleh said that Mims had a very good week of practice, and that if he continues to work hard, he won’t be inactive "much longer." But he also doesn’t see the other receivers "relenting."

"It’s a good problem to have all these receivers fighting to be active," Saleh said. "Denzel, he’ll get there."

Why was Crowder inactive?

Saleh said Crowder’s groin issue flared up on Friday, so they kept him out. Crowder was activated from the COVID-19 list last week and was limited Friday due to the groin. If he returns next Sunday as expected, it will make it less likely that Mims will be active.

Did Saleh ever consider pulling Zach Wilson during his four-interception performance?

No. That’s all Saleh said: "No."

Why did Saleh kick a field goal down 22-3 in the fourth instead of going for the touchdown?

Saleh said he was just trying to make it a two-score game. It was fourth-and-9 and Wilson had just been sacked. He wasn’t having a good game anyway. Saleh wanted the sure points.

"It was a three-possession game no matter how you cut it," Saleh said. "At that point, it was strictly to make it a two-score game and give us a chance."

Why didn’t the officials overturn a call that should have been a Patriots’ fumble?

On the second play of the game, Kendrick Bourne definitely fumbled the football and Marcus Maye recovered it. Saleh threw a challenge flag, but the refs had ruled his forward progress stopped. That’s not reviewable.

"The refs have a hard job, too," Saleh said. "They have a lot of stuff they have to look at. I understand missing some things."

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