Jets DL Muhammad Wilkerson out Sunday due to 'coach's decision'

Nov 2 2017 East Rutherford NJ USA New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson celebrates a sack on Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor  with defensive end Mike Pennel during the first half at Met Life Stadium. Mandatory Credi

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It's at least the second time he's shown up late to a team meeting this year.

Head coach Todd Bowles' decision to leave Muhammad Wilkerson behind today when the Jets travel to New Orleans to play the Saints on Sunday adds to earlier speculation that the Jets were unhappy with the play of their former Pro Bowl defensive end, and were considering releasing him at season's end.

Defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Steve McLendon declined to answer questions, while linebacker Demario Davis steered clear of addressing the issue, though he did say Bowles told the team on Friday that Wilkerson would not be traveling.

Wilkerson's brief benching during the team's win over the Chiefs was the third time in as many years that he's been disciplined for tardiness and the issue has been a chronic one. He didn't specify why, but stated that it was not injury related and was instead a "coach's decision", per several accounts.

If he's on the roster on the third day of the league year next March, he has a $16.75 million base salary for 2018 that becomes fully guaranteed.

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When asked how this could effect Wilkerson's future with the Jets, Bowles said: "I'm just anxious about the 53 guys going to the game".

Bowles clarified that Wilkerson is healthy enough to play in this game. But in the two seasons since, he has a total of eight sacks - just 3 1/2 this year. NY can save $11 million against the salary cap by releasing him before the third day of the league year in March.

"I'm anxious about the guys I'm coaching", Bowles told reporters. "I'm not anxious about Mo right now", he said. Bowles said he is "hopeful" both will play, but will make a final determination before the game.

"I'm just worrying about the guys I'm coaching", he said. So the Jets have to make a decision on Kerley by then - activate or cut.

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