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.
Big loss: Jets are placing WR Quincy Enunwa on injured reserve with a neck injury, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 7, 2017
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.
Second, it's a huge blow to a team that's already thin at nearly every single position -- especially receiver. Earlier this offseason, the Jets cut Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, which left Enunwa as the team's top target. Last year, Enunwa tied for the second-most receptions on the team with 58 and was poised to be a breakout player in 2017. Now with Enunwa on IR, the Jets' best target might be Robby Anderson or Marquess Wilson -- seriously.
Take a look at their current depth chart, because it's brutal:
Jets WR depth chart:— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) August 7, 2017
Jalin Marshall (susp4)
And keep in mind that those receivers will likely be catching passes from Josh McCown, unless Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg manage to beat him out. Regardless of who is throwing the passes, the Jets' passing offense figures to be the worst in the league by a wide margin. It was already going to be bad with Enunwa on the field. Now, it might be historically bad without him.
If the Jets are looking for a way to spin this positively, Enunwa's injury will at least allow them to give rookie Chad Hansen more reps. Plus, it gives them a stranglehold on the lead for the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, where the Jets can likely select their future franchise quarterback.