Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has underperformed so far in the first quarter of the regular season. Is it time for the New York Jets to be worried?
It wasn’t long ago that the New York Jets extended the contract of defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. They felt he deserved a long-term contract to continue being a force to reckon with on the defensive line of the Jets.
Unfortunately, ever since he signed it and before that dealing with a devastating broken leg injury towards the end of 2015, he hasn’t been the same. Whether or not the Jets messed up and rushed him too soon from injury remains to be seen but there have been many times in 2016 and even this season where Wilkerson simply wasn’t giving it his all.
Clearly, something is seriously wrong here. Wilkerson has yet to record a single sack after four games. So far this season, he’s only totaled seven tackles and one pass defended. It also doesn’t help that he’s dealing with a shoulder injury as of late and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s Week 5 road game against the Cleveland Browns.
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When asked about why Wilkerson and his fellow partner in crime defensive end Leonard Williams have yet to get a sack this season, here’s what head coach Todd Bowles had to say about it, courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets:
On if he is concerned that Wilkerson and Leonard Williams have not recorded a sack yet…No, it really isn’t, especially in a game like this where you know they were going to be doubling down on you with a smash-mouth football game. I thought they did a lot of damage when they were up there with the things they did even though it didn’t show up in the stat department.
Of course, when it comes to football, stats aren’t everything but at the end of the day, Wilkerson needs to step up and fast. Otherwise, he’s going to find himself looking for another team this upcoming offseason, especially if Williams wakes up faster which most likely will be what happens.
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Overall, from a team and fan’s perspective, there is a lot to worry about when it comes to Wilkerson who for all we know against the Browns could see limited reps. It doesn’t bode well to make his case to be kept for the long-term if he ends up being too injury-prone and doesn’t make a difference when he’s on the gridiron.