Robert Saleh says Elijah Moore committed to Jets

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Six days after requesting a trade and three days after he was benched, New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore attended meetings and returned to practice Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

At the start of practice, Moore and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur shook hands and shared a quick embrace. Moore requested a trade only hours after a heated exchange with LaFleur on Thursday.

The Jets (5-2), winners of four straight for the first time since 2015, tried to portray the Moore drama as a thing of the past. Coach Robert Saleh said that Moore, upset with his lack of targets, is committed to the team, although he admitted he’s not sure whether the second-year receiver still wants to be traded.

“I don’t know,” Saleh said. “I didn’t ask him.”

Moore, who has used social media to convey his feelings, declined to speak with reporters. He went public with his frustration after the Week 6 win over the Green Bay Packers, tweeting that he didn’t understand why he wasn’t targeted in the game.

“He’s been fine,” Saleh said. “Was there frustration? Is there frustration? There probably still is in terms of what he wants his role to be from a ball-production standpoint, but he’s not quitting on anybody. He’s not out there dogging it. He’s not sitting on his helmet .He’s not skipping [practice] and holding out, and he’s not faking injuries. He’s not doing any of that. He just wants to contribute.”

Saleh made his comments before practice. During the 30-minute media window, Moore appeared engaged during drills. He and Saleh had a conversation during warm-ups.

The Jets might have to lean on Moore against the Patriots (3-4), especially with wide receiver Corey Davis (knee) listed as day-to-day and not practicing Wednesday.

After a promising year, Moore, a 2021 second-round pick, entered the season with big expectations, but he’s only sixth on the team in receptions (16) and fifth in targets (28) despite running more pass routes (215) than anyone , according to ESPN Stats & Information data.

He had been simmering for weeks, sources said, and finally expressed his frustration last week, capped by his exchange with LaFleur before Thursday’s practice. He was sent home to clear his head. He spent the next three days working out at the facility, isolated from the team. He didn’t travel to Denver for the game and was made inactive.

Justin Hardee, a team captain, said the team welcomed Moore back with “open arms.”

“It’s all love, man,” Hardee said. “We can’t wait to get him going, can’t wait to have some fun out there. He’s a great player. He’s going to be special for us. I can’t wait for him to go make a play so all of this stuff will calm down. Once the guy makes a play, it all goes away.”

The Jets introduced new running back James Robinson, whom they acquired Monday night in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Saleh was noncommittal on whether Robinson will play Sunday, saying they will take it day by day. Chances are he will have a small package of plays.

Robinson said he was surprised by the trade, although he sensed he was being phased out in favor of second-year Jaguars back Travis Etienne. Robinson played only 12 snaps and had no carries Sunday. Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said it was because of knee soreness; Robinson said he was healthy enough to play a bigger role.

“I kind of thought it was going to be a one-two punch kind of thing,” Robinson said. “I felt like they probably kind of fell out of that a little bit, so they’ve been using my ‘not feeling healthy’ as an excuse, I guess.”

The Jets traded for Robinson less than 24 hours after losing star rookie Breece Hall to a season-ending injury. Robinson rushed for 340 yards, three touchdowns and a 4.2 average in seven games with the Jaguars.

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