Jets News

Injury to Quincy Enunwa opens doors for young receivers

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 12: Charone Peake #17 of the New York Jets celebrates his touchdown in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 12: Charone Peake #17 of the New York Jets celebrates his touchdown in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa is unfortunately out for the year but it will present new opportunities for younger players in the positional group.

Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall now gone, and Quincy Enunwa becomes the clear cut top receiver for the New York Jets. With only three years experience, Enunwa is the “veteran” of the group as he saw much action last year. Sidelined for the year with a neck injury, Enunwa’s season has ended before it even started. For the Jets, this will be a detrimental blow. Although, now, the opportunity of a lifetime sits ahead of their young receiving corps.

Buried on the depth chart with only five years experience, Marquess Wilson is the elder-statesman of the Jets receiving corps. Beyond Wilson are second-year players Robby Anderson, Jalin Marshall, and Charone Peake. Rookies ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen round out the young receiving corps. A seventh or eighth receiver may be kept on the roster for depth and special teams use, but these six names will be the ones predominately featured in the Jets passing offense.

A lot can change in only one year

This time last year, Anderson was an undrafted rookie competing for a roster spot. Now, Anderson appears to be the top receiver on the Jets roster. Anderson impressed coaches and fans alike towards the end of last season once he began seeing action.

In limited action, Anderson finished the season with 42 receptions and 587 yards, averaging 14 yards per catch. Anderson turned some heads during the Jets preseason victory over the Titans by beating corner Logan Ryan for a 53-yard reception. This season, Anderson will show us whether or not we should believe the hype as he will be expected to step up into the WR1 role. Ultimately, this could be a “make or break” year for the undrafted receiver from Temple.

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Flashback to this time last year and Peake is also competing for a roster spot. Peake, the 7th round pick from Clemson, looked both impressive and promising last summer.

This year, Peake has continued to impress, snagging the Jets first touchdown of the preseason against the Titans. With no clear-cut WR2 on the roster, Peake has the opportunity to land himself a spot in the starting lineup come week one.

Marshall, who was also undrafted last year, now finds himself in a tough spot. Marshall will serve a four-game suspension for PEDs and has also become notorious for his drops in training camp. This showed during the Jets first preseason game, as Marshall dropped a few good throws. While Marshall made a few nice plays last year, he’ll need to show some improvement if he wants to take advantage of this opportunity.

Heavy workload for rookie receivers

On draft day, ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen looked like they’d be bench-warmers or role-players at best. But now, Stewart and Hansen will likely see some action and must step up. With little veteran support, the learning curve will be steep. Although, the two rookies will get plenty of reps this training camp, giving them the opportunity to grow and improve each day.

Clearly, losing your top receiver is never a good thing. Although head coach Todd Bowles and his squad must view this scenario with a “glass half-full” mindset. Rather than dwelling on the loss of Enunwa, Bowles must instill a sense of opportunity into his young receivers. Life is all about taking advantages of the opportunities presented, just ask Dak Prescott. Hopefully, one or more of these young receivers will take advantage of this opportunity and ultimately emerge as a standout receiver for the Jets.

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