The New York Jets had several players injured in today’s joint practice with the Green Bay Packers. The most devastating injury from the Jets’ standpoint was to defensive end Carl Lawson. Lawson was carted off the field with an apparent Achilles injury. Multiple reports are now saying that tests reveal a rupture of the Achilles tendon that will sideline Lawson for the entire 2021 season.
Carl Lawson was having a terrific training camp in his first season with the Jets after signing with the team as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Lawson was reportedly nearly unblockable, and had multiple sacks almost every practice. He looked primed to become the dominant edge rusher the Jets have lacked for the last 15 or so years. Now his season is over before it began, and the Jets’ pass rush has taken a huge hit. The absence of Lawson will open up opportunities for young players like Bryce Huff to step up, but it is unlikely anybody on the Jets roster will be able to replace the kind of constant pressure Lawson has produced. The Jets and Lawson now hope for a full recovery and a successful return to health in 2022.
Lawson was not the only Jet to go down in today’s practice. Safety Zane Lewis, a young backup who was reportedly having an excellent camp while transitioning from cornerback to safety, also suffered a season ending injury with a torn patella tendon and sprained MCL. In addition, Denzel Mims and Sheldon Rankins suffered less serious hip and knee injuries, respectively. Neither are expected to be out for the year, and they are both classified as day to day.
Injuries, of course, are an inevitable part of this violent sport. However, today was a particularly brutal day for the Jets. All four players were expected to be contributors this year, and the loss of Lawson in particular may be a crippling blow for the Jets defense.