‘Keep pushing’: former CFL QB Chris Streveler makes ‘most’ of chance to play in New York Jets’ first preseason game

Photo: AP/Rich Schultz

The chances of former Canadian Football League quarterback Chris Streveler making the New York Jets’ active roster increased dramatically in Week 1 of the NFL preseason.

Streveler led a six-play, 53-yard game-winning drive with less than two minutes left on the clock in exhibition action against the Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Robert Saleh gave him a shoutout post-game and the charismatic QB broke the team down in the locker room.

“It was a team effort, it’s not just me out there playing. You go out there in the fourth quarter and there are a lot of guys similar to myself that are just looking for an opportunity, trying to make plays not only for this team but trying to put good things on film for the other 31 teams,” Streveler said.

“I’m not the only guy that hadn’t gotten a ton of reps during camp. Guys are staying in their playbook, working hard, keeping their head down and grind and whenever that opportunity comes, make the most of it.”

The 27-year-old entered the game in the fourth quarter, completing 6-of-9 passes for 62 yards and two touchdowns without throwing an interception while rushing twice for 31 yards. He found receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. on a five-yard touchdown throw with 16 seconds remaining to give the Jets a 24-21 victory.

“They had told me to be ready and then Joe [Flacco] wasn’t playing, so they said: ‘You might get in.’ You just never know when an opportunity’s going to come. I’ve played football my whole life, so it was just really, really fun to get out there and I’m thankful for the opportunity to get to play,” Streveler said.

“In a business like this, for me throughout my career being so many different places, I just feel like whenever things get frustrating or you’re not getting reps or anything like that, you’ve just gotta keep pushing because you never know when that opportunity is going to come and mine came and we were able to make the most of it.”

Starting quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a knee injury earlier in the contest. The second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft went for an MRI and was diagnosed with a bone bruise plus a meniscus tear. Wilson’s status for Week 1 is in question after planning to have arthroscopic surgery, which could allow Streveler to break training camp with New York.

“It’s obviously a football play to scramble and run around and football’s football, things happen. I don’t know what happened with him but I wouldn’t say that was an irregular play to scramble like that. Obviously, concerned for him and hope that everything’s good,” Streveler said.

The six-foot-one, 216-pound passer needs just six more games on an NFL active roster to secure his league pension. He signed with the Jets late in the offseason and was fourth on the Jets’ depth chart entering the first preseason game behind Wilson, veteran Joe Flacco and Mike White.

“This is one of the best quarterback rooms I’ve ever been around. We all just get along really well and there’s a lot of back-and-forth dialogue between all the quarterbacks about what they like, what they’re seeing,” Streveler said.

“There’s a lot of great guys in that room, so it’s been really fun for me to be a part of that room and get to grow with those guys and learn. The collaboration between all those guys, it’s going to make for some good offence.”

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.