The Jets had a surprise on their inactive list for last Sunday’s game against the Chiefs when starting linebacker Darron Lee was left out of the lineup for the first time this season.
Lee confirmed his change in role was due to a violation of team rules, reportedly a late arrival to practice on Saturday, and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson joined him on the sideline in the first quarter after being later to a team meeting. At his press conference on Monday, Jets coach Todd Bowles was asked if he was confident that the discipline would have the desired effect.
“Time will tell. You earn trust,” Bowles said. “They’ve earned a lot of trust. You make a mistake, and you lose a little trust, and you just have to earn it back. So going forward, we’ll go from there.”
It’s the first time that Lee has run afoul of team rules, but Wilkerson has now missed portions of games in each of the last three seasons because of violations like the one that landed him on the bench on Sunday. Bowles was asked several questions about Wilkerson and said he wasn’t going to “sit here and discuss my players in the media,” although he did offer that he still considers Wilkerson a team leader.