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Jets sign backup QBs Fales, White to practice squad after waiving them a day earlier

New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14), David

New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14), David Fales (3), James Morgan (4) and Mike White (8) practices drills during a practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Florham Park, N.J., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) Credit: AP/Adam Hunger

The Jets got their quarterback room back together again.

One day after waiving David Fales and Mike White, the Jets signed the two backup quarterbacks to the practice squad. One of them will be active and the No. 2 quarterback behind Sam Darnold when the Jets open the season Sunday in Buffalo.

This was the expected move after the Jets cut Fales and White Saturday when they finalized their initial 53-man roster. That left rookie James Morgan as the only healthy backup, but he doesn’t have the experience to be the Week 1 backup. Joe Flacco also is on the active roster, but he’s sidelined for a few more weeks as he rehabs from neck surgery

Fales and White are part of the 15-player practice team the Jets assembled Sunday. All of them were in camp with the Jets.

Additionally, the Jets are re-signing backup center/guard Josh Andrews (his agent tweeted the news) — and tight end Daniel Brown (Brown himself tweeted it) — and adding them to the 53-man roster. Both were cut on Saturday.

The Jets need to clear spots for them. They could cut players, but it’s more likely they will put injured players on IR. Three candidates are linebacker Patrick Onwuasor and receivers Jeff Smith and Vyncint Smith.

Andrews was a somewhat surprising surprise cut because he was playing with the starters when guards Greg Van Roten and Alex Lewis missed practice. The Jets needed offensive line depth, and Andrews provides that.

Joining Fales and White on the practice squad are running back Josh Adams, wide receivers Donte Moncrief, Josh Malone, Lawrence Cager and DJ Montgomery, tight ends Bronson Kaufusi and Ross Travis, offensive linemen Corbin Kaufusi and James Murray and defensive backs Lamar Jackson, Javelin Guidry, Bennett Jackson and Zane White.

Adams could be elevated to the active roster if No. 3 back La’Mical Perine can’t play Sunday because of the ankle injury he suffered last week. The Jets will want insurance behind Le’Veon Bell and Frank Gore.

The Jets also needed additional help at receiver, especially with the two Smiths sidelined.

They currently have five “healthy” receivers – Jamison Crowder, Chris Hogan, Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims and Braxton Berrios. But Perriman hasn’t practiced in two weeks due to knee swelling. Mims (hamstring) hasn’t practiced at all, except for two days of individual drills.

As for the quarterback spot, Adam Gase certainly wanted more experience for his backup spot. Unproven rookie Morgan, a fourth-round pick out of Florida International, doesn’t have it.

One of the many rules’ changes brought about by COVID-19 was players can be put back on the practice team after the game without having to pass through waivers two times. This can happen two times for each practice team player.

The Jets will utilize that new rule as it pertains to the quarterback position, at least until Flacco is cleared and ready to be Darnold’s main backup.

It didn’t necessarily make sense to bring in someone new and teach him Gase’s system. Moreover, it takes several days for a new player to join your team due to the COVID-19 protocols.

That’s probably why the Jets didn’t claim a single player off of waivers. In fact, claims were down across the league compared to last year, another byproduct of COVID-19.

Fales and White were with the Jets last season. Fales spent the final 12 games as Darnold’s backup after Luke Falk was released. Fales appeared in two games but didn’t attempt a pass. White was the practice squad quarterback.

White has shown improvement at camp, and has looked better than Fales. But Gase could go with the player he’s been with longer. Fales also played for Gase in Chicago and Miami.

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