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Jets Q&A: What's up with Trumaine Johnson?

Jets linebacker Blake Cashman (53) and cornerback Trumaine

Jets linebacker Blake Cashman (53) and cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) try to stop Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary on September 8, 2019. Credit: Lee S. Weissman/Lee S. Weissman

Why didn’t Trumaine Johnson play until there was only 3:27 left in the game?

Adam Gase wouldn’t say, but something must have happened during the week leading up to the game. Johnson’s replacement, Nate Hairston, said he knew before Monday that he would be starting at cornerback against the Browns.

Gase was asked three different questions about Johnson’s surprising benching. He said it wasn’t disciplinary. “That was just our decision,” he said. “We just decided not to play him.”

Apparently, no one told Johnson.

Johnson, who has had some struggles defending receivers since signing a five-year, $72.5 million contract with the Jets in 2018, seemed surprised that he wasn’t playing Monday. He said he had been practicing with the first-team defense all week.

Johnson admitted that he was “upset” and said he will talk to Gase, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson to find out why.

“I’ll talk to them face to face and go from there,” Johnson said.

For most of the game he stood on the sideline with his helmet on.

“I dressed up,” he said. “I was preparing to play.”

Johnson was benched last year by former Jets coach Todd Bowles for being late to team meetings. He was asked if he wants to remain a Jet if he continues to be out of the rotation.

“I want to be here with my teammates,” he said.

How serious are the injuries the Jets suffered?

Trevor Siemian’s ankle injury didn’t look good. He left the locker room on crutches and in a long walking boot. He will have an MRI on Tuesday.

There also is concern about Jordan Jenkins. The outside linebacker, arguably their best edge rusher, left the game on the first series with a calf injury. He knew something was wrong because he threw his helmet in frustration when he was walking off the field.

Jenkins, who also will have an MRI Tuesday, had his calf taped and was wearing a long sleeve and was limping very noticeably when he left the locker room. He seemed frustrated and upset. 

“I play through a lot of [stuff],” Jenkins said. “It just [stunk] knowing I couldn’t get back out there, knowing we were shorthanded. … I don’t think it’s too serious.”

Was Gase upset with Williams for lighting a fire under the Browns and Odell Beckham Jr.?

Of course Gase said no, but bluster wasn’t the right approach in this case. The Jets already were shorthanded on defense and have issues covering receivers, so why give bulletin board material to one of the most talented, explosive receivers in the league?

 “It’s hard for me to comment on stuff that I don’t really pay attention to,” Gase said. “I was told about it but I really don’t care.”

He probably should.

Beckham started it by saying Browns players told him that Williams told them to target Beckham. Williams, when asked about it, said “Odell who?” and disagreed with the idea that he’s a dynamic player. After Beckham scored on an 89-yard catch-and-run, the Browns' official Twitter account posted a picture of Beckham with the words “Odell who?”

Gase dismissed it, saying, “We got to go do our job. Coaches, players, we just got to do a better job of what we’re doing.”

 What’s wrong with the offensive line?

It was supposed to be so much better, but this veteran-laden group hasn’t given any of their three quarterbacks much protection.

“We’ll get it remedied,” Gase said. “We’ll get it fixed.”

Kelvin Beachum had a rough day. He didn’t put up much resistance on Myles Garrett (three sacks) and was called for two holding penalties.

“You got to own it,” Beachum said. “I own everything I put on film. Your film is your walking, talking, breathing resume. At the end of the day, my resume didn’t look too good today.”

Should the Jets be interested in Jalen Ramsey?

Now that Ramsey’s agent has let it be known that his client wants out of Jacksonville, general manager Joe Douglas should make a call to the Jaguars. The asking price will start with a first-round pick for the Pro Bowl cornerback. That arguably is the Jets' weakest position, and something is up with Johnson, so it doesn’t hurt to make a call.

The Jets may not be a playoff team this year, but Ramsey is signed through 2020. He would help the Jets next year, when they will  be in win-now mode.

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