FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Jets’ Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson were reportedly benched for the first quarter of Sunday’s game at Miami for being late to a team meeting last week.
The New York Daily News reported Monday that the defensive ends’ tardiness is why coach Todd Bowles forced them to sit out the first 15 minutes of the game, in which the Dolphins marched 75 yards for a touchdown in their opening drive. Miami won, 27-23.
Meanwhile, an anonymous source with knowledge of the situation told NJ.com’s Connor Hughes that Richardson and Wilkerson have been repeatedly late for or missed team meetings. NJ.com said it was unclear based on its reporting whether those problems led to the players’ benching.
In his postgame news conference, Bowles would not elaborate on why the players were held out, saying only that it was a “coach’s decision.”
In briefs comments to reporters after the game, Wilkerson and Richardson basically repeated Bowles’ vague assertion.
Wilkerson, who signed a five-year, $86 million contract this offseason, was also benched for the first quarter of last year’s game against the Giants for being late to a team meeting. It is the first known benching for disciplinary reasons for Richardson, a four-year veteran, although he has been suspended twice by the NFL for off-the-field issues.
Wilkerson has 2½ sacks this season while Richardson has just 1½.