Bill Kostroun/Associated Press
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Jets will be without their top wide receiver for the season.
Quincy Enunwa will be placed on injured reserve with a bulging disk in his neck that will most likely require surgery, with a recovery time of six to nine months. Coach Todd Bowles said Monday that Enunwa would seek a second opinion, and that the injury is not considered a threat to his career.
“They said it wasn’t, but going forward, we’ll see,” Bowles said. “They said he should come out O.K.”
Enunwa, projected as the Jets’ No. 1 receiver, was injured Saturday night during practice at MetLife Stadium. Bowles said the injury initially appeared to be similar to the one that led Enunwa to miss spring workouts.
With Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker cut during the off-season, it appeared that Enunwa would be given the opportunity to lead an inexperienced receiving corps. He has 80 career catches for 1,172 yards and four touchdowns in two seasons.
“He was a big part of it,” Bowles said of Enunwa’s role on offense. “Our young guys are just going to have to grow up fast.”
After Enunwa, the Jets’ most experienced receiver is Marquess Wilson, who had 56 career catches for 777 yards and three touchdowns in four seasons in Chicago. Next is the second-year receiver Robby Anderson, who made the team last summer after being an undrafted free agent and finished with 42 catches for 587 yards and two scores.
There is a significant drop-off in career production after that, with Charone Peake (19 catches), Myles White (16), Chris Harper (14), Jalin Marshall (14), Lucky Whitehead (nine) and Frankie Hammond (four). The Jets also have four rookie receivers on the roster: the third-round pick ArDarius Stewart, the fourth-rounder Chad Hansen and the undrafted Deshon Foxx and Gabe Marks.
That could prompt the Jets to scour the waiver wire or look into unemployed veterans to help fill what may be the biggest void on the team — other than quarterback, a position for which the starter remains unknown.
“We’ll look into it and see how our young guys develop, but we’ll have our eyes open and see what’s out there,” Bowles said, later adding that “all options are open.”
Enunwa was drafted in the sixth round out of Nebraska in 2014 and steadily improved to become a key part of the Jets’ passing game. Last year was a breakthrough season, when he finished tied for second on the team with 58 receptions — one fewer than Marshall — and led the Jets with 857 yards receiving and four touchdown catches.
Bowles said Enunwa had tests in the spring while dealing with the initial injury, but he was healthy and everything appeared to be fine until Saturday night.
“When he fell, it just flared up again,” Bowles said.
Bowles is uncertain as to how Enunwa was hurt in the off-season, but said it was not a bulging disk at that time.
“It’s something that comes and goes,” Bowles said. “It was just a tingling feeling, and he didn’t feel well. We rested him in the spring, and he came back and he fell down, and I guess it reoccurred.”
Source: The New York Times