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Are injuries defining Muhammad Wilkerson?

By Luis Tirado Jr.
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 30: Isaiah Crowell #34 of the Cleveland Browns carries the ball in front of a diving Muhammad Wilkerson #96 of the New York Jets during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 30: Isaiah Crowell #34 of the Cleveland Browns carries the ball in front of a diving Muhammad Wilkerson #96 of the New York Jets during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is having the worst season of his career with the New York Jets. Are injuries defining him at this stage of it all?

When it comes to defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, he’s easily having one of the worst seasons of his career. So far in 2017 with the New York Jets, Wilkerson has only totaled nine tackles, one pass defended and has zero sacks.

No, that isn’t a typo, he literally has yet to get a sack in six games of the regular season. Besides not having an impact at all on the defensive line of the Jets, he’s been dealing with not one but two nagging injuries.

As per the Media Relations Department of the Jets, Wilkerson hasn’t participated in practice this week. He’s been out due to a shoulder and foot injury. This doesn’t bode well at all for him to be an impactful defensive end, let alone even play this upcoming Sunday when the Jets hit the road in Week 7 to face the Miami Dolphins.

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In the grand scheme of things, Wilkerson is on the outside looking in. Yes, he’s been dealing with severe injuries since the end of 2015 when he broke his leg but at the end of the day, he’s losing his ability to be an effective starter.

Whether or not the Jets rushed him to get back into the starting lineup or not, there is much more to all this than just being on the injury report. He simply lacks the focus, urgency, and aggression he once had a few years ago when he hustled to get his big contract extension.

Once he finally got it, it was the beginning of a series of events where many started to see him not giving it his all on every play he was in on defense and many questioning his passion to play high-quality football. You know, the kind where you’re exhausted every single play since you’re chasing down anyone holding the football and won’t rest until you or your defense makes a big defensive play.

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Sadly, Wilkerson is fading away into the spotlight as a point will undoubtedly come where head coach Todd Bowles has to wonder if his defense would be better off by benching Wilkerson in favor of another who will have a bigger impact when it matters most. Either way, whether it’s due to injuries or a severe drop in play, things aren’t looking good for Wilkerson to remain in the long-term plans of the Jets.

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