Wayne Hunter, New York Jets right tackle, benched


Rex Ryan looked at the film and made the change that New York Jets fans everywhere have been waiting for. He's benching right tackle Wayne Hunter.

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"I know what I said about Wayne being the starting tackle this week," Ryan told reporters during his Thursday news conference. "The more I went back and looked at where we are at as a football team and getting feedback from coaches and knowing the history of Wayne, the success that Wayne had as a sixth man, I've decided that's the way we're going to go."

Austin Howard steps up as the Jets' starter. He's a third-year undrafted player who has been cut by the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens. Ryan wouldn't commit to Howard as the team's Week 1 starter just yet. We have to think the Jets will examine waiver wire and trade options.

Ryan said Hunter reacted well, saying he "just wants to help" the team. Hunter is due guaranteed money, so there's almost no chance the Jets cut him.

"We don't know what's going to be cut from other teams," Ryan said. "I don't believe you're going to find somebody right now who can be a starting right tackle ahead of who we have now."

It wasn't so long ago Ryan said the team wasn't looking for a right tackle. Then the Jets acquired Jeff Otah from the Carolina Panthers, but that didn't work because Otah wasn't healthy, though LeCharles Bentley tells NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport that Otah definitely will be ready to play at some point this season.

Ryan avoided questions about why the front office didn't address right tackle in the offseason. He could be avoiding that question all season.

UPDATE: The Jets later confirmed that they do not intend to trade Hunter, according to Dennis Waszak Jr. of The Associated Press.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.