New York Jets rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner is making a strong impression in his rookie NFL season. But the first-round draft pick will be put to the test when he faces star wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
Gardner told reporters Wednesday he’s ready for the challenge of facing some of the top wide receivers in the league.
“This is what I dreamed about coming to the NFL,” Gardner said, via the New York Post. “The goals that I have for myself like Rookie of the Year, All-Pro, Pro Bowl — all that type of stuff— I’ve got to go against guys like that in order to be recognized.”
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“It’s a great opportunity. Me and D.J. [Reed] and the rest of the secondary was talking about it. It’s a great opportunity to show the world what we can do.”
Gardner said during a press conference Wednesday he “appreciate[s]” the opportunity to play against challenging opponents.
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“I appreciate it a lot. Some of my individual goals — they line up with me going against guys as great as Tyreek Hill and the rest of the other receivers I went against so far. I’m looking forward to it.”
Gardner leads the Jets with five passes defensed. He’s totaled 15 tackles and one tackle for loss through four games as New York enters Week 5 at 2-2.
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Waddle returned to practice Thursday in a limited role after sustaining a groin injury, and Hill was listed as a limited participant with a quad injury.
The Jets are looking for their first 3-2 start since 2017.