Quinnen Williams & Marcus Maye Headline Jets’ Initial Injury Lists

Quinnen Williams

Getty New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams in warm-ups on November 3, 2019.

Head coach Robert Saleh has often said that he cannot wait for his young team to face some adversity.

Although he probably meant on the field, the New York Jets have been challenged by their fair share off the field over the past week.

Just ahead of training camp, the Jets lost assistant coach and passing game specialist Greg Knapp to a shocking accident. With the wound still fresh within the hearts of players, fans and colleagues alike, Gang Green has now released some more troubling news.

Nobody ever enjoys reading a preseason injury report from their favorite team, and there is plenty about this one that’s mildly concerning.

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What Are the PUP & NFI Lists?

Let me start by briefly explaining the physically unable to perform (PUP) and non-football injury (NFI) lists.

First off, both of these designations can either be labeled as active or reserve. These seven Jets are all on the active lists, which is a good thing. That means that they still count against the 90-man roster but it also means that they can be activated at any time, indicating a less severe injury.

The PUP list is for players that enter training camp with a football-related injury. If at any point these four Jets switch from active to reserve, they would be forced to miss the first six weeks of the 2021 season.

The NFI list is a bit different. This specifies that the player has an injury or illness that occurred away from team activities and practice. NFI designations can range from an ailment or hospitalization to a cold or any sort of non-football injury. COVID is the exception and has its own separate list.

The main difference for players is that an NFI reserve tag can affect their paycheck, being that they suffered the injury or ailment away from the team.

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Breaking Down Jets’ Report

A few of these names are not all that surprising, like defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. The third-year star broke a bone in his foot while training this offseason. He required surgery, but the expectation is that Williams will be healthy before Week 1.

Williams referred to his foot injury as a “freak accident” when addressing the media on June 16, 2021.

Marcus Maye and Vinny Curry showing up on the NFI list feel more peculiar. Maye sat out all of OTAs because of his contract negotiations but did make an appearance at minicamp. He seemed healthy at the time, although it was hard to tell being that the safety kept his workload light.

The veteran pass-rusher Curry just turned 33 as an elder of this youthful roster. The immediate hope is that the grizzled edge rusher has no nagging issues that stick with him throughout camp.

Folorunso Fatukasi, Ashtyn Davis, Jonathan Marshall and Kyle Phillips are somewhere in the middle on the worry scale.

All four of these players were sidelined most of camp, so it’s not all that encouraging that they’re still rehabbing a week before the start of training camp. The delayed start shouldn’t affect Fatukasi or Davis as much as they’re both likely to make the 53-man roster.

Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich touted the second-year safety, Davis, for having “been amazing in the classroom as far as asking questions and being engaged” despite his injury.

For first-year defensive tackle Marshall and third-year edge rusher Phillips, the missed time could negatively impact their chances of making this roster.

I’m sure the rookie would end up on the reserve PUP list or the Jets practice squad if he’s not able to win a role, but Phillips could be on the chopping block if he doesn’t return from injury soon. The former undrafted pass-rusher is still working his way back from a season-ending ankle injury that required surgery in 2020.

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Positives From Jets’ Report

There are a couple of silver linings here. One, these lists are relatively short and none of these players are expected to miss significant time.

With major injuries being sustained left and right around the NFL, the Jets are still looking pretty healthy as of now (knock on wood).

Two, there is a huge name missing from this report (literally), left tackle Mekhi Becton. The 6-foot-7 behemoth posted impressive workout videos throughout the course of his month of vacation. Having the big-man healthy is tremendous news for Zach Wilson and this rushing attack.

Other Jets that have apparently recovered from lingering issues are tight end Chris Herndon, linebacker Blake Cashman, cornerback Blessuan Austin and wide receiver Lawrence Cager.

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