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Todd Bowles: Disciplined players lost trust, have to earn it back

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 29: Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson #96 of the New York Jets celebrates a tackle against running back Tevin Coleman #26 (not pictured) of the Atlanta Falcons with teammate strong safety Jamal Adams #33 during the third quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 29, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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The Jets had a surprise on their inactive list for last Sunday’s game against the Chiefs when starting linebacker Darron Lee was left out of the lineup for the first time this season.

Lee confirmed his change in role was due to a violation of team rules, reportedly a late arrival to practice on Saturday, and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson joined him on the sideline in the first quarter after being later to a team meeting. At his press conference on Monday, Jets coach Todd Bowles was asked if he was confident that the discipline would have the desired effect.

“Time will tell. You earn trust,” Bowles said. “They’ve earned a lot of trust. You make a mistake, and you lose a little trust, and you just have to earn it back. So going forward, we’ll go from there.”

It’s the first time that Lee has run afoul of team rules, but Wilkerson has now missed portions of games in each of the last three seasons because of violations like the one that landed him on the bench on Sunday. Bowles was asked several questions about Wilkerson and said he wasn’t going to “sit here and discuss my players in the media,” although he did offer that he still considers Wilkerson a team leader.