Initial thoughts on New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa being out for the season…
1 – Enunwa was the most talented and explosive skill position player on a barren Jets offense. He has substantially improved with each passing season and would have been poised for a legitimate “break out season” in 2017 as a 25 year old. He was one of the few proven players that was easy to get excited about watching each week on this roster, so in short…yes, this sucks.
We do not know the full status of his neck problem but it is a troubling part of the body to have a season ending injury declared so quickly on. In a vacuum, this will make it easier for the Jets to sign Enunwa long term, as he will be a RFA next season but until more is known about the injury, it is hard to justify the investment. It will be an interesting negotiation to potentially watch next offseason.
2 – Regardless of how you feel about the tank, part of the problem of leaving the roster so bare is that when an injury like this occurs, it gets even harder to evaluate everything else. How can Christian Hackenberg be fairly assessed with this roster? It is only going to cloud the Jets decision on taking a quarterback in next year’s draft or pursuing one in free agency (if they haven’t decided to already, which they may have). If Hackenberg is bad, an argument will be framed that he needs another year with better weapons. It would be a beyond bold move to consent to that argument and pass on a quarterback early if the opportunity presents itself but it will be on table due to how unproven these receivers and offensive linemen are.
3 – As for the 2017 offense, there is not another player who replicates Enunwa’s skill set but there will be a few beneficiaries in terms of playing time and targets. Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Jordan Leggett will now be that much more involved, particularly in the middle of the field. Charone Peake is probably a lock to make the roster and should see substantially more reps. Chad Hansen will see more vertical targets. Chris Harper’s odds of sticking go up and ArDarius Stewart should see more action in the screen and short passing game. The same goes for Jalin Marshall after his four game suspension.
Robby Anderson becomes the default “#1” receiver but his role as a vertical, outside the numbers receiver shouldn’t change much due to this injury. He will just see more overall targets, particularly in the red-zone. Bilal Powell, Matt Forte and Elijah McGuire will also benefit from an even more run heavy offense now.
4 – On paper, this is the least “proven” group of receivers I have ever seen assembled on a Jets team (or maybe any team for that matter). Potential is great but there will be a learning curve. Let’s not act like ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen were top ten picks in this year’s NFL Draft. They were middle round selections who will experience growing pains. Robby Anderson will need to learn how to play without Brandon Marshall and Enunwa out there with him. Charone Peake has never had a substantial role in a game plan. This could get very, very ugly at times.
5 – Most importantly, get healthy soon Quincy!
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com