FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Quincy Enunwa enjoys running through and sometimes over would-be tacklers, but he’s thinking about lightening up on that.
The Jets rough and rugged receiver will miss Sunday’s game against the Packers because of an ankle injury. With one game left after that, Enunwa may not see the field again until next year. But when he does play again, he may be a little different player, so he can stay on the field longer.
“It definitely [stinks],” Enunwa said Thursday. “You want to put numbers on the board. You want to be able to play and perform. There are things that are out of my control. I know for one that I can definitely play smarter moving forward and know when to get down.”
Enunwa still intends to lower his shoulder and knock over defenders. But he already has missed four games this season — in a contract year — because of injuries to each ankle that he said were caused by other people. Going forward, he plans to pick his spots to plow into defensive players.
“As a ballplayer you have to know when,” Enunwa said. “It’s all about preservation at the end of the day. You don’t want to continue to have people injure you. It’s one thing if you’re getting injured just from running. It’s another when it’s from the cause of somebody tackling you.”
Enunwa, 26, had some bright moments in an otherwise dark Jets’ season.
He came back from neck surgery that cost him all of last season to catch a team-high tying 38 passes for 449 yards, which is second on the Jets. Enunwa was Sam Darnold’s No. 1 target for most of the season.
Enunwa said that the neck wasn’t an issue, and he’s looking forward to building off this year, with some tweaks to his game or how he’s used.
“I think if I watch the film over again, I can see that I made a lot of plays, I made a lot of strides,” Enunwa said. “I showed that my neck injury did not slow me down. Every single one of my injuries that I’ve had this year have been from somebody else creating that.
“It’s a scheme thing or maybe keeping me from the outside away from those hits and also me just learning to get down.”
Enunwa will be a free agent this offseason. But he’s not overly concerned that he didn’t have the type of stat-filled season that earns him a long-term lucrative contract. He believes his play speaks for itself.
“It’s about the product that I put on the field,” Enunwa said. “I’m not going out and running around and getting injured. People are tackling me and I’m getting injured from that. It’s just the way things go sometimes. I haven’t had any major injuries this year.
“Unfortunately, I’ve missed some time. While I’ve been on the field I’ve made plays, and that’s the biggest thing. I can’t be down about what I couldn’t do. It’s just about making sure that while I’m on the field I make plays.”
The Jets are unsettled at wide receiver. Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse will be unrestricted free agents while Robby Anderson will be restricted.
The Jets are expected to add more weapons and playmakers to support Darnold, but Anderson and Enunwa could return. Enunwa said he’d like to stay with the Jets and be a part of what they’re building with Darnold as the franchise quarterback.
“Those are all plusses for sure,” Enunwa said. “Definitely things that make you want to stay for a longer time.
“As long as they want me to stay here of course I want to stay here. I built a relationship with everyone in the building.”
Todd Bowles said no decision has been made yet about whether Enunwa would be shut down for the remainder of the season. But that would seem to be the most prudent decision, all things considered.
“I’m sure he’s disappointed because of how hard he worked to get back,” Bowles said. “Sometimes these things happen. You just got to persevere.”
That’s what Enunwa intends to do.