Tagged in: neck injury

Jets Quincy Enunwa still can’t play, out for 2020 campaign

New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who played only one match in 2019 because of a neck injury, won’t play in 2020 after being placed Tuesday on the physically unable to perform list, the team reported.

This was the expected outcome for Enunwa, 27, whose once-promising NFL career could be over. The Jets also placed wide receiver Josh Bellamy (shoulder) on the season-ending PUP list.

Enunwa missed the 2017 season because of neck surgery, and then re-injured his neck in the 2019 opener. When the season ended, he stated he wanted to continue playing but wasn’t sure if he would be medically cleared. He continued his rehab into the offseason, but the signs remained ominous. The organization never factored him into its offseason plans.

After a promising 2018, Enunwa landed a four-year, $33.4 million contract extension, but he has played only one match on that deal.

It put the Jets in a difficult position from a salary-cap standpoint.

Because of the potential cap ramifications, they have to carry him on their payroll.

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Enunwa’s 2020 salary ($6 million) is fully guaranteed, and he will count $7.8 million toward the cap. In 2021, $4.1 million of his $7.8 million is guaranteed for injury.

His situation is the same to that of former Seattle Seahawks star Kam Chancellor, who suffered a neck injury in 2017 but remained on the PUP list for the 2018 season because of the cap consequences of releasing him. The Seahawks waited until 2019 to cut him.

Barring a financial settlement, Enunwa’s outcome probably will be similar.

Enunwa, a sixth-round pick in 2014, has 119 career receptions for 1,617 yards and five touchdowns. He sparked a controversy last season by using social media to rip team management for fining him $27,900 for missing two mandatory rehab sessions.

Bellamy, due to make $2.25 million in 2020, played only seven matches last season because of his shoulder injury. He played mainly on special teams, concluding with two catches for 20 yards.

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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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