CBS Sports: The Jets’ chances to win a game or two during the 2017 season took a blow on Monday when the team was forced to place its best receiver on injured reserve. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Quincy Enunwa‘s neck injury is serious enough that it warranted his placement on IR. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Jets coach Todd Bowles said that Enunwa needs surgery for a bulging disc in his neck. He faces a 6-8 month rehab. The good news is that Bowles doesn’t believe the injury is career threatening. Enunwa suffered the injury at practice on Saturday night when he fell face-first after dropping a pass, according to the Associated Press. After spending several minutes on the ground with trainers, Enunwa eventually stood up and walked back to the locker room. Initially, the Jets expressed hope that Enunwa’s injury wasn’t serious, but that obviously isn’t the case. First, this is a huge blow to Enunwa. According to Spotrac, he is scheduled to become a restricted free agent in 2018. …
As if the expectations surrounding the Jets could get lower… Even with Enunwa, the Jets were expected to finish among the worst in the league. Even with Enunwa, the offense was projected to be historically bad. Somehow, it’s gone from bad to worse, and we’re barely a week into August. Same old Jets.
I’ve been excited about the 2017 season for months now because I genuinely want the Jets to go 0-16. I want the first pick in the draft, and I want that first pick to be Sam Darnold out of USC, our QB of the future (hopefully, but probably not). So in terms of that wish, this devastating news puts 0-16 very much in play. With that said, injuries are never a good thing. And when we’re talking about a season-ending neck injury, there’s obviously some real long-term concern. Early reports indicate that this should not be career-threatening, and I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope to see Quincy Enunwa back in form for 2018, and hopefully in a Jets uniform. Not only was Enunwa one of very few bright spots on the Jets roster, but he was quite literally the only wide receiver worth mentioning. He was primed for a big year by default but also because he’s shown the ability to shine. He’s big, strong, fast, has good hands, and is very versatile. Enunwa has been a great complement to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and 2017 was going to be his showcase year as the true WR1.
However, the absence of Quincy Enunwa is going to have a serious trickle down effect on the offense. At some point, Christian Hackenberg will get an opportunity to prove himself and earn a future with this team. The Jets have all but written off Bryce Petty, and Josh McCown is here merely as veteran support and guidance to Hackenberg. This is all contingent on Hack learning how to break a huddle properly. The expectations are low for Hackenberg, but he deserves a chance if nothing else. Not only are the odds stacked against him from a talent point of view but now also the talent surrounding him. How can a quarterback be fairly evaluated without any talent around him?
You could argue that even if Hackenberg struggles, the Jets should give him one more year to show what he’s got with a better WR corp. That could mean the Jets may pass on Darnold or another QB in next year’s draft. GM Mike McCagnan could be granted of stay of execution as the jury could still be out on the 2nd-rd draft pick. Does Todd Bowles get another chance in 2018 because of the lack of talent on his roster (God I hope not)? I don’t think this all necessarily happens, but they’re fair points. My hope for this season was to let Hackenberg fail on his own so we can move forward as an organization without him and without Bryce Petty. Wipe the slate clean and get a new Head Coach, a new (franchise?) quarterback, and possibly a new General Manager. But without Quincy Enunwa, Hackenberg has virtually nobody to throw to. Despite the inevitably bad season ahead, suddenly one player has made a huge impact. Christian Hackenberg’s chips are all in the pot, he’s been dealt a losing hand, and he hasn’t even sat down at the table yet.
Same old Jets.