4 players the NY Jets can't afford to lose to injury in 2024

Substantial injuries to any of these four players could doom the NY Jets' Super Bowl aspirations in 2024
Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA
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2. Quinnen Williams, DT, NY Jets

The Jets have a deep and talented defensive line, especially on the edge, but one player stands head and shoulders above and that's defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.

No player makes the impact both against the run and the pass that Williams does. Pro Football Focus graded him the third-best defensive tackle in 2023 behind legendary former Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and stud New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence.

The lynchpin of Robert Saleh's defensive philosophy is generating pressure against the pass with only four rushers, and having defensive linemen that can shoot gaps aggressively and make plays in the backfield against the run while the linebackers clean up. Williams is an integral part of realizing that vision.

Watch the tape and you'll see him pop off the screen, wrecking plays before they get off the ground. He might not get the "box-score stat" but you'll see the reason his teammates clean up and produce sacks and tackles for loss is because of the initial chaos created by Williams.

He is a special player, and the Jets have no other player close to his talent on the depth chart.

Javon Kinlaw's career has been marred by injuries and inconsistency to this point. He shows some flashes as a pass rusher, but he is a complete net negative in the run game.

Leki Fotu is a big-bodied pseudo-nose tackle who ideally serves as a run-stuffing specialist, but he's actually been below average versus the run and the pass in his career.

Rounding out the depth chart is Solomon Thomas. The former third-overall pick has seen a bit of a resurgence since coming to the Jets, but even so, his ceiling is that of a quality backup. He's done great work in the community and is a great locker-room guy, but shouldering a bigger load on the field is beyond his capabilities.

Williams is such a crucial player for the Jets that any prolonged injury to him could cause major problems for the defense despite the numerous stars on that side of the ball. He is simply that important to the team's success.