Jets "No.17" an underdog
Salas isn’t the type to be known around the team and some of them didn’t even know his name, save his jersey number. Right guard Willie Colon said that he didn’t know his name but after the game would be sure to introduce himself.
“Number 17, I don’t know his name even though he sits next to me, he made some nice catches for us,’’ he said. “I know he’s my locker mate, I just don’t know his name. I have to introduce myself to him.’’
Salas and the other unknowns of the team were the ones who showed up for the challenge against the Saints with injuries plaguing the Jets and gave a measure of their potential talent. Players who even the fans had trouble recognizing showed up on the field and gave a good performance.
Salas made his debut on Sunday for the team. He had previously been with four other teams since signing with the Saint Louis Rams in 2011. He was taken from the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad by the Jets this season. He came in the game when starting wide receiver Jeremy Kerley sustained an elbow injury during just the first half.
Apart from Salas, Zach Sudfeld also played the match. The 6 foot 7 tight end was taken in by the Jets one day after being cut by the Patriots some weeks ago. He ran for 46 yards and caught two passes, most notably from Josh Cribbs that resulted in the first-half field goal for the Jets.
Sudfield said they hadn’t even practiced the play with him prior to the game.
“I don’t know if we ever connected in practice before on all the times we’ve run that play,’’ he said.
Cribbs was equally surprised.
“I didn’t throw it to him one time in practice,’’ he said.
The unknowns of the team really shone during the game. Seven of the nine completions were done by players that were not in training camp.
“I credit the GM [John Idzik]. He saw a puzzle being made and he went out and got the pieces to the puzzle that would fit. We have a lot to play for. We have guys coming off the street like myself,” Cribbs said.
Cribbs said that he was motivated by the fact that most players weren’t the usual guys, meaning they had a chance to show how good they could play the game.
“I was not on a team for six weeks, and I have a lot to prove,” Cribbs said. “Now you got Salas coming off the practice squad proving himself. Nelson has really been showing up. We’re hungry.”