Enunwa, who was entering his fourth NFL season, led the Jets in receiving during the 2016 season. He had 58 catches for the team, along with 857 yards and four touchdowns for the 5-11 Jets.
Todd Bowles spoke about the injury later in the day, saying that his recovery could take 6-9 months.
Bowles: Enunwa has a bulging disc. A second opinion will likely indicate surgery & a 6-9 month recovery. Considered not career threatening.— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 7, 2017
Enunwa suffered the injury during 7-on-7 drills during the team’s Green and White practice at MetLife Stadium on Saturday.
“He fell. Nobody touched him,” head coach Todd Bowles said. “He either hit his head or his neck and something went wrong when he fell.” Bowles was not sure of the injury’s severity at the time.
The Jets released veteran wide receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall this past offseason, as well as Quinton Patton after a short stint with the team this offseason. Devin Smith, who was a second-round pick by the team in 2015, was placed on IR after tearing his ACL in April. Jalin Marshall, another Ohio State product, was suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.
If you were hoping to look to the tight end position to solve receiving woes, they’ll be without Austin Seferian-Jenkins for two games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Combine all of this with the Enunwa injury, and the Jets are left with Robby Anderson as the top receiver on their depth chart at the moment. Anderson is entering his second season in the NFL, after going undrafted in 2016. He appeared in 16 games last season, starting in eight of them. He had 587 yards on 42 receptions and two touchdowns.
Anderson was arrested in May for resisting arrest with violence and obstruction of a police officer at a Miami music festival. No punishment has been handed down by the NFL on the incident, but it’s something to watch for moving forward.
The team selected a pair of wideouts in the 2017 NFL Draft in ArDarius Stewart out of Alabama, a third round selection, and Chad Hansen, a fourth-round pick out of Cal. They also picked up Lucky Whitehead off waivers, though he’s mainly a return specialist.
But there’s no question the team — which was already low on talent — will be lacking at the wide receiver position in 2017.