- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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PHILADELPHIA -- Every veteran starter on the Jets received the night off -- except fullback John Conner. It's usually not a good sign when a veteran plays in the final preseason game. Afterward, Rex Ryan passed on an opportunity to squash speculation about Conner's status with the team.
"I don't want to talk about anybody's specific roster spot," Ryan said after the 28-10 loss to the Eagles. "We'll look at the tape and we'll let you know tomorrow."
The Jets must cut 22 players by 9 p.m. Friday.
Conner said he didn't read anything into his participation, saying the coaches wanted him to play because of the "low numbers" at fullback. He's the only pure fullback on the roster. They lost H-Back Josh Baker to a season-ending knee injury. Rookie RB Terrance Ganaway was used at fullback in the first half. Conner came in for a few plays in the second half, getting stuff on a fourth-and-1 run -- his third unsuccessful short-yardage run in the preseason.
QB ROTATION: Third-stringer Greg McElroy (12-for-17, 90 yards) started and played into the third quarter, leading the Jets' only TD drive of the preseason -- a 14-play, 77-play drive in the first quarter. It ended with a 6-yard TD pass to Ganaway on a well-executed play-action. He was wide open. The Jets had gone 36 possessions without a touchdown.
"It was a sigh of relief," Ganaway said. "That was the feeling on the sideline."
Ryan liked what he saw from McElroy.
"I thought McElroy did a nice job when he was in there," he said. "He moved the team, showed poise and that was good to see."
McElroy was almost Tebow-esque at times, making plays with his feet. He ran five times for 33 yards, including a pivotal fourth-and-1 run around right end.
FOLK HERO: The Jets have to bee feeling good about their decision to keep Nick Folk over Josh Brown. Folk drilled a 58-yard field goal at the end of the first half, which he said was the longest of his career.
"That was probably the highlight of this game," Ryan said.
ODDS AND ENDS: DT Marcus Dixon suffered a stinger late in the game. ... No. 1 pick Quinton Coples played most of the game and finished with four tackles, 1.5 sacks, two QB hits and one pass breakup. ... OLB Garrett McIntyre solidified a roster spot. He was all over the field, recording a team-high seven tackles. ... Newly acquired P Sherman Lanning got a chance in his Jets debut, punting five times, but his net average was only 34.6 yards, with one inside the 20. Incumbent T.J. Conley averaged 43.7. Looks like Conley wins the job. ... Incredibly, the Jets managed only 8 total yards in the second half.
3dField Yates and Rich Cimini