LB Darron Lee: Trying to become more physical at the point of attack, the former first-round pick added nine pounds since June, reporting to training camp at 236 pounds. Lee doesn't think it will slow him down. Point of reference: He blazed the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds at 232 pounds at the 2016 scouting combine. Sheldon Richardson can't call him "little dog" anymore. "That was fair last year," Lee said. "This year, nah." Now it's time for Lee to use that speed to make plays. The first-team defense probably will play about a quarter.
C Wesley Johnson: Going into training camp, he was deemed the heir apparent to Nick Mangold, but Johnson no longer has a stranglehold on the job. Indianapolis Colts castoff Jonotthan Harrison is challenging and could see time with the starting line in the game. Coach Todd Bowles said the position is up for grabs.
WR Chris Harper: He could be the beneficiary of the thinned-out receiving corps. Harper, cut five times in the last two years by the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers, is expected to start in three-receiver packages. He has terrific hands, but he needs to improve as a route runner and blocker. "I think I have the greatest chance I could ever have," he said. Next to Robby Anderson, Harper has been the most productive receiver in practice. Now he needs to take it to the game.
RT Brandon Shell: He appears to be running behind Brent Qvale, who got most of the first-team reps in practice. It's still an open competition at right tackle, according to Bowles, so you have to figure Shell will get some time with the starters. The Jets could go into the season with a two-man rotation, as they did last year. Bowles hopes to avoid that, but he didn't rule it out.
OLB Freddie Bishop: With Lorenzo Mauldin nursing a back injury, the former CFL standout probably will start for the second straight week on the weak side. No one has jumped out, so Bishop has a legitimate shot. This is a homecoming game for Bishop, who played at Western Michigan and signed with the Lions out of college. Jordan Jenkins appears to be the frontrunner on the strong side. Mauldin needs to get back quickly or he could be in some trouble.