NY Jets’ defensive end Kyle Phillips is out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
Phillips injured his ankle twice during Sunday’s 18-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the second of which saw him carted off the field. And the injury does seem to be as serious as first anticipated.
Head coach Adam Gase spoke to reporters on Monday to give his usual weekly injury updates and Phillips’ injury was definitely the most severe. Gase revealed that Phillips will be undergoing ankle surgery and will miss the rest of the season.
Phillips has played in all seven games this season serving as a rotational edge defender. That being said, it’s not as if he’s made a huge impact in 2020.
The former Tennessee star has just 11 tackles on the season and only recorded one QB hit. His 52.3 Pro Football Focus grade ranks 97th out of only 110 qualifiers as he’s been one of the least effective members of the Jets’ edge-rush rotation.
The NY Jets were impressed with Kyle Phillips after a promising rookie season.
Nonetheless, his 2019 season provided hope that the former undrafted free agent could develop into a reliable contributor on defense. Phillips made the 53-man roster and played in 15 of 16 games in his rookie season, starting four.
Phillips totaled 1.5 sacks, 39 tackles, and finished as PFF’s No. 59 overall edge defender earning a 66.0 grade. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been quite as productive this season, but he’s still been receiving around 40 percent of defensive snaps per game.
Now, those snaps will have to go to other players.
The most obvious candidate to take his role is rookie third-round pick, Jabari Zuniga. Zuniga has spent the entire season on injured reserve, but was designated to return just under three weeks ago.
If the Jets don’t activate him by Wednesday, he will revert to IR for the rest of the season. Expect Zuniga to be active for the first time this season come next Sunday.
Others such as rookie Bryce Huff could benefit from increased playing time, especially given how well he’s played this season. Huff is currently ranked 36th out of all edge defenders by PFF.
Phillips will hopefully return healthy next season. But for now, his 2020 campaign has come to an unfortunate end.