Status in doubt for Jets' Quinnen Williams after missing another day of practice
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – The Jets could be without their most dominant and disruptive defensive player Sunday.
Quinnen Williams didn’t practice for the second straight day due to a calf injury he suffered against the Bills last week. Robert Saleh will update Williams’ status Friday for this week’s game against the Lions.
“He’s impossible to replace just because he’s playing at such an elite level,” defensive coordintaor Jeff Ulbrich said. “But we do have tremendous depth in that group. We’re hoping he gets back by Sunday. If he doesn’t we have guys that have played a lot of football.”
Sheldon Rankins starts alongside Williams, who leads the Jets with 11 sacks. Nathan Shepherd and Solomon Thomas saw their snap counts increase against the Bills and likely will again if Williams can’t play.
“From my understanding, it’s still a day-to-day 50-50 thing,” defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton said. “If not, we just do like we did for three quarters in Buffalo. I thought all three of the other guys did a great job picking up the slack. We just have great confidence in the whole group.”
Protecting QB White
Offensive line coach John Benton said he has to do a better job preparing his players and making adjustments after seeing how the Bills pummeled Mike White, who had to leave the game twice.
“That’s our responsibility to not let that happen,” Benton said. “We didn’t do it. That comes back to me.”
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said the Jets’ third-down pass protection was “pretty dang good.” But it was first and second downs and some play actions where the Jets failed to protect. Benton said he expects Detroit to try to replicate what the Bills did.
“Once you show weakness they’re going to bleed you out until you fix it,” Benton said. “It’s been a major issue this week.”
LaFleur said, “It’s stuff that we’ve got to get fixed and fixed fast.”
Confidence in Zach
If White gets hurt Sunday, Zach Wilson will replace him. LaFleur said he’s confident that Wilson won’t try to do too much or prove himself after losing his starting job last month.
“I am,” LaFleur said, “because he has confidence in himself, the players have confidence in him, and we as coaches have confidence in him.”
LaFleur liked the way Wilson handled the past three weeks. He worked on his lower-half fundamentals and ran the scout team. LaFleur said Wilson “attacked it” and “he’s in a good place.”
The Jets released safety Will Parks, who appeared in 11 games. He made one start.