Adversity Hits as Major Jets Star Done for Season With Torn Achilles

Robert Saleh

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh down on the sideline of MetLife Stadium on August 14, 2021.

Head coach Robert Saleh has talked a lot about adversity since taking over this New York Jets franchise. He even stated that he wanted this roster to form a “shifting” identity that’s known for overcoming whatever adversity they face.

It’s quite possible that the team faced more of that in practice today than they have all offseason and preseason to this point. The first blow was defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, who walked off the field with an injury.

Approximately five minutes after, the unthinkable occurred and the world stood still for every Gang Green fan. Dominant edge rusher Carl Lawson went down with a leg injury, one that needed a cart to take him off the field.

If these two losses weren’t harsh enough, a third injury just seemed to taunt the hearts’ of Jets’ supporters when wide receiver Denzel Mims limped off the field. Fortunately, this one didn’t seem all too serious.

The fourth was more similar to Lawson’s, although the magnitude was not nearly as severe as bubble candidate defensive back Zane Lewis was carted off. Big-name or not, you never want to see stuff like this in training camp.

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Jets Crushed by Black Thursday Practice

For those that truly love this franchise as much as we do, we understand the pain you’re probably feeling right now in this moment. Connor Hughes of The Athletic described the impact of the injury best.

It’s hard not to jump to the worst case scenario in terms of Lawson, especially with the team’s history of bad luck with star players.

An update on the Lawson injury came in from senior NFL insider Ian Rapoport at 1:25 p.m. eastern time. The free-agent acquistion will undergo an MRI on his left Achilles for a possible torn tendon. Mike Garafolo reported that Lawson “heard a pop,” which could be a bad sign for the impending prognosis. A tear would be season-ending.

This is known to be one of the more difficult issues to overcome in sports, being that the Achilles affects an athlete’s explosiveness either jumping or in the pass-rusher’s case, getting out of his stance and attacking the quarterback.

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Mims Held out for Precaution

If there was some small silver lining for today, it’s that Mims injury seems like nothing to worry about. New York Post reporter Brian Costello tweeted that the 2020 second-round pick left the practice based on “precaution.”

The status of Rankins and Lewis are less clear, with all the focus on Lawson (updates below).

The two defensive linemen were a couple of the Jets biggest signings this spring. The former Cincinnati Bengal signed a three-year, $45 million contract while Rankins agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal.

The Jets are deepest on the defensive line, but these are the straws that stir the drink, not replaceable parts. Promising edge rusher Bryce Huff is the first in-line to replace Lawson, while Folorunso Fatukasi, Nathan Shepherd and Jonathan Marshall provide back-up on the interior.

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The Jets have just released the news that nobody wanted to hear, both Lawson and Lewis will miss the remainder of the 2021 campaign with season-ending injuries.

Lawson has suffered a torn/ruptured Achilles tendon. Lewis suffered a torn patellar tendon along with a sprained ACL. We wish them both the best during their recoveries.

Rankins (knee) and Mims (hip) are day-to-day with unrelated injuries. A dark day indeed for a fanbase that had just started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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