FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Quincy Enunwa and Josh McCown have served as ghosts in each other’s careers for the past two years.
When McCown became the Jets’ starting quarterback to begin the 2017 season, Enunwa was sidelined with a neck injury, and he did little more than watch for the entire season. When Enunwa made his return this year, a weapon in a Jets offense that will take as much help as it can get, McCown was on the bench, little more than a mentor for Sam Darnold.
That will change Sunday against the Bills, and though Enunwa acknowledged the challenges of playing with a quarterback he’s only practiced with, there is a discernible confidence that they can figure it out. Or at least the Jets hope.
“So far, I don’t think it would be” too large an adjustment, Enunwa said, fresh off full participation in Friday’s practice. He had been held out Wednesday and Thursday with an ankle injury, but with Robby Anderson (ankle) doubtful Sunday, the Jets can ill afford to be down another wide receiver.
“Obviously, they’re two different players, two different quarterbacks, and you’re always going to have to realize that and get ready through the week, [taking into account] what one quarterback likes compared to another,” Enunwa said. “I didn’t really play in camp. I was hurt. So I didn’t really get much with Sam, but I still ended up having a good rapport with him to start the season off. I’m going to go at it the same way. I’m going to be where I need to be at, be in the same spot, be where he [McCown] needs me to be so it’s easy for him.”
McCown seems excited about availing himself of a resource he didn’t have in 2017, saying earlier in the week that Enunwa “gets me fired up.”
“He’s got a ‘C’ [for captain] on his chest for a reason and I’m glad he’s on our team,” McCown said. “He’s been a heck of a leader for us and we’ve just got to keep finding ways to involve him because he influences the game every time he touches the ball.”
Enunwa, injured so often the past two seasons, acknowledged that he reserves most of his leadership for on-the-field situations — the type of captain who leads with actions rather than words.
“I’ve been one of the guys that’s been injured,” he said. “I was injured in camp and I’m injured now. For me, I just try to play the game as well as possible. Speak up when I can but for the most part, just kind of be that guy that’s consistent, making plays and being a force when he can.”
But as the Jets attempt to break out of a three-game losing streak with their bye week on the horizon, Enunwa has conveyed a message to his teammates this week.
“It’s easy to point fingers at this time, when one side is not doing well or the other side is not doing well,” he said. “The best thing I ever heard is that if you don’t have a solution, you really shouldn’t complain about the problem . . . Just play better, play more, take that role on . . . Do the best on your side and then we’ll all together be a great team.”
Notes & quotes: Darnold (foot) didn’t practice again Friday, and it seems increasingly unlikely that he’ll be able to contribute in any capacity Sunday. “He’s just not healthy right now,” Todd Bowles said, not officially ruling him out. He’s listed as doubtful . . . Neal Sterling (concussion) is the only Jet officially ruled out. Spencer Long (knee, finger) is doubtful. Steve McLendon (ankle) is questionable.