FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Lorenzo Mauldin’s roster spot may be in jeopardy.
The outside linebacker returned to yesterday’s walkthrough after reinjuring his back, but Todd Bowles said he likely won’t play in the Jets’ third preseason game against the Giants on Saturday night. Now, with Mauldin having missed swathes of time to injury and coming off a subpar second season, it appears his competition could snap up his spot.
“It’s open,” Bowles said. “He has to get healthy and the other guys have to make plays, so it’s open. We’ll see these last two games . . . [The other outside linebackers have] all been playing well but they’ve all made mistakes.”
It appears Jordan Jenkins has locked up one spot, but Freddie Bishop, Dylan Donahue and Josh Martin have impressed. In addition to offseason legal trouble — he’s accused of assaulting a man at a nightclub — Mauldin, 24, got into a nasty training camp scuffle with Kelvin Beachum two weeks ago.
Bowles had words of praise for Bishop. “He’s strong. He’s a smart player. He’s very strong at the point,” he said. “Solid in the run game and he’s a tough guy and I like that.”
Bowles believes running back Matt Forte (hamstring) might be able to take the field for “a few plays” Saturday night after missing the first two preseason games . . . Cornerback Morris Claiborne (shoulder) likely won’t play, Bowles said. Bowles added that Claiborne still hasn’t secured his starting role . . . Tight ends Jordan Leggett (foot) and Jason Vander Laan (shoulder) probably will not play . . . Former Giants left tackle Will Beatty worked out with the Jets yesterday, according to NFL Network.