The New York Jets logged their second practice of Week 15 on December 15 and a few key starters were nowhere to be found.
New York Daily News reporter Antwan Staley provided the injury update, tweeting: “Jets QB Mike White and DT Quinnen Williams have not been seen during the practice available to the media… Also haven’t seen WR Corey Davis either. DL John Franklin-Myers is back from his illness.”
Jets Injuries: Latest on Quinnen Williams & Mike White
Now before you get too bent out of shape about White, his absence appears to be precautionary and rest related. SNY’s Connor Hughes relayed that “Mike LaFleur says Mike White didn’t look impacted at all throwing the ball in team drills at practice yesterday.” Adding that this is a “good sign” and White “should be good to go.”
“I feel good,” the Jets starter told reporters, noting that he’s dealing with “general soreness from playing football.” When asked, he voiced that there is “no” doubt in his mind that he’ll be ready to play on Sunday.
Back to Williams, head coach Robert Saleh has made it clear that the superstar defensive tackle would be 50-50 all week after suffering a calf injury in Buffalo. The more days he misses, the less likely it is that “Big Q” suits up against Detroit.
The same could be said for Davis, as the veteran wideout attempts to work his way back from a concussion. First, he’ll need to pass the NFL’s mandated concussion protocol, and part of that process involves registering a practice with the team.
Keep in mind that Week 16 is also a short week for New York, who face the Jacksonville Jaguars on the following Thursday night. That means any injury concerns could easily turn into a two-week absence over this nine-day stretch of practices and games.
With Williams and Davis trending south in Week 15, the only positives on the injury front are White and Franklin-Myers, who both appear to be good to go versus the Lions.
Jeff Ulbrich Addresses Potential of Quinnen Williams Absence
Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich spoke with the media today on December 15th and he was immediately asked about Williams.
“He’s impossible to replace because he’s playing at such an elite level but we do have tremendous depth in that group,” Ulbrich replied. “We’re hoping he gets back by Sunday but if he doesn’t, we’ve got guys that obviously have played a lot of football.”
Ulbrich added that the experience backups get on a weekly basis is another benefit of their D-line rotation.
Ironically, the Jets did lose a member of the interior DL this week, 2021 draft pick Jonathan Marshall. The athletic freak of a prospect didn’t make the team in 2022 after practically redshirting year one. He was signed off the NYJ practice squad by the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 13.
This is also a terrible time to lose Williams — let’s say he doesn’t play. Not only are the Jets in do-or-die mode on the outside looking in at the playoff picture, but they’re also facing a Lions team that has a really strong offensive line.
“They are extremely physical upfront,” Ulbrich praised Detroit. “I would say probably the best O-line that we’ve faced to this point in time.”
Like the Jets, the Lions have invested heavily in their offensive line in recent years, spending a third-round selection or higher on starters Frank Ragnow (center, 1st), Penei Sewell (right tackle, 1st), and Jonah Jackson (left guard, 3rd) — not to mention veteran left tackle Taylor Decker is a former first-rounder as well.
Without Williams, it would be a tough test for Sheldon Rankins and backup DTs Nathan Shepherd, Solomon Thomas and Tanzel Smart.