The return of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins should bring a spark for the offense of the New York Jets. The time is now for him to finally silence his critics.
It’s put up or shut up time for Austin Seferian-Jenkins. With his two-game suspension over, the fourth year pro is set to make his season debut Sunday when the New York Jets take on the Miami Dolphins in their home opener at MetLife Stadium. After a DUI arrest last September that led to his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seferian-Jenkins claims he hit “rock bottom” and is grateful that the Jets took a flyer on him.
Now sober, the former second-round pick is ready to shred the bust label that everybody has placed on him. A determined and focused Seferian-Jenkins could provide a much-needed jolt to a Jets offense that has been short of playmakers in the early going.
He’s a young man who’s experienced the highs and lows of life and is now ready to start a new chapter of his life, one he hopes means many years as the featured tight end on the Jets. Courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets, here is what Seferian-Jenkins said about his return back to the team in Week 3:
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“I really appreciate the opportunity to be here because I know how easily it can be taken away from you and fragile life is. I know a lot of things are in life and everything can change in a split second.”
Although the rough times are behind him, Seferian-Jenkins will never forget his struggles and hopes he can be a role model to those still battling an addiction.
He opened up about his drinking problem in the offseason and attended meetings regularly. He was determined to make sure that his mind and body were ready for September 24th when he would be eligible to rejoin the team, and he’s done just that. Along with his sobriety, Seferian-Jenkins has lost 33 pounds since January and believes he’s currently in the best shape of his life.
While the feel-good story is nice, the Jets will need to see production from Seferian-Jenkins in order for him to stick around longterm. With other options on the roster in Will Tye and rookie fifth-round pick Jordan Leggett, the Jets won’t hesitate to pull the plug if Seferian-Jenkins disappoints.
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Seferian-Jenkins has flashed potential before but has never been able to find the consistency, allowing him to be a top player. Much of that could be chalked up to his struggles off the field. With his demons under control and a fresh start in front of him, the Jets are hopeful he can finally put it all together.