New York Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter has been relegated to backup duty, losing his starting job to Austin Howard. Rex Ryan revealed today that Wayne Hunter has finally been replaced in the starting lineup after showing no signs of improvement during the preseason to this point. Austin Howard will be given a shot to cement himself as the starting right tackle.
Austin Howard is the new right tackle for the New York Jets, with Wayne Hunter now playing the role of sixth man off the bench for any jumbo or heavy sets. Wayne Hunter did well in that role previously, but was never able to grow into a full-time player on the offensive line. He has been replaced by Austin Howard. The Jets signed Austin Howard off of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad last season.
At 6-7, 333, Austin Howard has the size to play right tackle, combined with surprising athleticism. He was a tight end at Northern Iowa before moving to tackle his junior season. The Jets have been trying to address the position all along, with the failed trade for Jeff Otah and their reported interest in Vernon Carey. With all of the potential external fixes seemingly exhausted, the Jets have looked within and found a possible replacement.
Austin Howard will have a great chance to prove himself this weekend when the Jets host the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. All eyes will be on him as the starters will see extended playing time and many discerning eyes will try to determine if he is the answer.
Earlier today we put out an article wondering if the end was near for Wayne Hunter. Clearly, it is. Rex Ryan said that he informed Wayne Hunter this morning of the decision to move him into a backup role.
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