Tagged in: done for the season

New York Jets DT Quinnen Williams’ breakout season ends with injury

New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, who has established himself as one of the NFL’s top young linemen, is done for the season with a concussion and a neck injury.

Williams, 23, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday after clearing the league’s concussion protocol.

The concussion happened late in the third quarter of last Sunday’s stunning upset of the Los Angeles Rams, which likely cost the Jets the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Williams, caught on camera as he walked to the locker room for an evaluation, was seen vomiting on the sideline. Williams, drafted third overall in 2019, was one of the few bright spots this campaign for the Jets (1-13).

After a lackluster rookie year, he became a disruptive presence on the defensive line. He leads the team in sacks (seven) and quarterback hits (14) and ranks among the league leaders in the major run-stopping metrics, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

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“On Sunday, you saw what kind of impact he had — a ton of TFLs [tackles for loss], was in their backfield and created pressure,” Gase stated.

Gase said Williams “kind of disappeared” in some games, “but it didn’t happen a lot this year.

Last year, I felt like there would be a couple of games in a row where you didn’t really feel him. But this year, I felt like the high majority of the game you felt him. If you were on the other team, you felt him whether you were playing quarterback or in the running game.”

Without Williams, the Jets’ run defense will be vulnerable Sunday versus the Cleveland Browns (10-4), whose third-ranked rushing attack is led by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

The Jets also placed inside linebacker Harvey Langi (neck) on IR. Between injuries, in-season trades and one opt-out, the Jets are down seven defensive starters from the unit that was projected at the start of training camp.

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Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch out for season due to neck injury

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch suffered a neck injury during Sunday’s match versus the Philadelphia Eagles and will not return.

Vander Esch recorded three tackles before exiting, raising his season total to 54.

Injuries were a topic surrounding Vander Esch entering the 2018 NFL draft. He was limited to just six games as a redshirt sophomore at Boise State as he dealt with a concussion and a neck injury.

His agent told the Idaho Press his client passed all medical checks during the predraft process.

Dallas was impressed enough by his film and skill set that it took him with the 19th overall pick. He went on to record 140 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups as a rookie en route to the Pro Bowl. He was also voted second-team All-Pro.

Vander Esch was the first to make contact with the opposing ball carrier on 15.1 percent of his defensive snaps in 2018.

That put him well ahead of his peers, as no other off-ball linebacker with at least 400 defensive snaps finished above 12.6 percent.

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He wound up playing all 18 games (including the postseason) in his first year as a pro, though he missed the start of organized team activities in May this year with a pelvis injury. 

Vander Esch was, however, ready for the regular season.

Losing him for any period of time would be a blow to the middle of the defense. The linebacking corps still features the likes of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith, though the Cowboys will have a hard time replacing Vander Esch.

For his part, Vander Esch has made it clear he plans on playing “12 years” in the NFL and “not four”, indicating he’s totally fine with how the Cowboys are approaching the situation.

In his stead, veteran linebackers Sean Lee and Joe Thomas have taken up the mantle on the weakside.

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Eagles lose WR Alshon Jeffery for season due to foot injury

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will miss the rest of the season with what coach Doug Pederson called a “significant” foot injury, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

NFL Network first reported that Jeffery would miss the rest of the season.

Jeffery was taken to the locker room on a cart during the second quarter of Monday’s 23-17 victory over the New York Giants. He was not contacted on the play, but left the field limping before throwing his helmet down and entering the medical tent. He then sat in the front seat of a cart that headed down the tunnel.

The injury left Carson Wentz with just two active receivers for the rest of the game: JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. With Nelson Agholor still dealing with a knee injury, the Eagles are expected to make a move at receiver in the near future.

They have three receivers on their practice squad, including Marken Michel, the brother of Sony Michel who had a strong offseason for the Eagles.

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This late in the season it’s difficult to bring in somebody from outside who hasn’t been in this offense either in training camp or during the season.

“We definitely have a couple guys on practice squad if we have to make a move,” Pederson said. “Obviously, we could look outside the building if we need to. But we’re going to work through that today and try to get something in place here pretty quick. We’re back on the field (Tuesday).”

Jeffery finished the season with 43 catches for 430 yards and four touchdowns. Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson, meanwhile, is week-to-week with an ankle injury, Pederson said. 

Halapoulivaati Vaitai substituted him at right tackle Monday and appears to be the leading candidate for the job moving forward.

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Broncos Derek Wolfe expected to miss rest of season

Defensive lineman Derek Wolfe will miss the rest of the season for the Denver Broncos after dislocating his elbow during Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. The injury came in the fourth quarter and after Wolfe sacked Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers two times during the game.

“I don’t know that he’ll be able to play again this year,” Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said.

The coach said it’s possible Wolfe will be placed on the injured reserve list.

“The time involved with that healing and where we are in the season probably precludes him from playing anymore,” Fangio said.

Despite being in his 8th season, and only playing 12 games, Wolfe had a career high 7 sacks in 2019.

Wolfe is in the final year of his contract with the Broncos.

Fangio praised Wolfe in his weekly news conference on Monday for his “resiliency.”

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“He was just solid and played good. He was where he was supposed to be with the right mindset and he played physical,” Fangio said. “I think he had a career high in sacks, which for a guy at this stage in his career speaks to his resiliency and the work that he’s put in and the effort that he was playing with.”

It was the first time Miller had missed a game since 2013, when he suffered a torn ACL in the second-to-last game of the regular season and then missed the regular-season finale and the Broncos’ three playoff matches, including Super Bowl XLVIII.

Miller, wearing a brace on his left knee, went through a workout before Sunday’s game with Denver head trainer Vince Garcia looking on, and the decision was made to keep Miller out of the lineup versus the Chargers.

As far as whether Miller would play this week versus the Texans, Fangio said this Monday: “I do think there is a good chance he will be able to go this week.”

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