NY Jets: 5 players the team can't afford to lose to injury in 2021

NY Jets, Mekhi Becton
NY Jets, Mekhi Becton / Rich Schultz/Getty Images
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NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com via Imagn

1. Zach Wilson, QB, NY Jets

And for the final, and likely least surprising name on the list.

Now that the entire contract debacle is over with, fans want nothing more than for Zach Wilson to be the man that the organization has been waiting for since the days of Joe Namath. He already has the pieces to succeed as a rookie and beyond.

But the team cannot lose Wilson to injury.

The first year of a quarterback's career is incredibly important for their future. Some quarterbacks sit on the bench for a year, allowing themselves to marinate into something great — take Patrick Mahomes for example.

Others leave the sideline and take the league by storm their first year. Last season's Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert showed just that.

Although it has been said that there is a quarterback duel for the starting job, it seems that is little more than professional talk. Zach Wilson was taken second overall, and is likely going to be starting day one against the Carolina Panthers come September.

This is seemingly solidified as the only other quarterbacks on the roster are James Morgan, Mike White, and Josh Johnson — three quarterbacks that seem to be battling each other for the backup role.

Now the Jets aren't expected to be world-beaters this season. 2021 will be a year of feeling things out and letting players develop.

That being said, that could all be thrown down the tube if Wilson loses his rookie campaign to an injury. Great for draft position, horrible for his growth.

The team needs Wilson to stay healthy. The last three years, Sam Darnold couldn't stay on the field for an entire season — with offensive line woes likely to blame in that situation. The Cincinnati Bengals are a perfect example of what the lack of help can do to a quarterback.

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Joe Burrow looked like a promising rookie before he had a gruesome season-ending injury in 2020. How it will affect his future is still unknown, but it's best not to test fate like that.

Keep Wilson upright and he will deliver.