The NY Jets lost one of their best players for the season on Thursday when it was announced that star defensive end Carl Lawson had torn his Achilles. But Lawson's absence creates a golden opportunity for Bryce Huff.
Signed as an undrafted free agent shortly following the 2020 NFL Draft, Huff was the only undrafted rookie to make the Jets' Week 1 roster.
It didn't take long for him to crack the rotation and he soon found himself playing an important role as a situational pass rusher.
But he could be more than just a rotational player in 2021. And with Lawson out, he might have to be.
Bryce Huff could shine for the NY Jets in Carl Lawson's absence
Huff appeared in 14 games as a rookie playing 26 percent of defensive snaps. He finished with two sacks, four QB hits, 16 tackles, and four tackles for loss capping off a promising rookie campaign.
The former Memphis standout showed up to camp in excellent shape and already looks like one of the most improved players on the entire roster.
Huff was one of the stars of training camp and he proved last Saturday that he was worth the hype. The 23-year-old recorded a pair of sacks including one where he accelerated around NY Giants right tackle Matt Peart to sack the quarterback a whopping two seconds after the ball was snapped.
That sack came on the very first possession of the game and it was evidence of Huff's improvement as a pass rusher.
At Memphis, Huff was a consistent ball of energy who made up for his average athletic traits with effort and finesse. But he's showing that he can be more than just a high-work-ethic third-down rusher.
Huff has the chance to earn a key role in the Jets' defense in 2021 with Lawson out. He'll be given every opportunity to make a serious impact in his sophomore NFL season.