Quinnen Williams’ impressive second NFL season is over.
Williams suffered a concussion and a neck injury in Sunday’s win over the Rams. Adam Gase said the neck injury will end Williams’ season, and he will be placed on injured reserve after he clears concussion protocol.
The No. 3 pick in 2019, Williams established himself as one of the better nose tackles in the league after a mostly quiet rookie season. He also showed he’s someone the Jets can build around on defense.
"He’s done a good job," Gase said. "I felt like he had a good run of games. His consistency was pretty good. There was a few games where he kind of disappeared. But it didn’t happen a lot."
"Last year it felt like there would be a couple of games in a row where you didn’t really feel him. This year I felt like a high majority of the games you felt him. If you were on the other team you felt him whether you played quarterback or the running game.
Williams led the Jets with seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 14 quarterback hits. He ranks first among defensive linemen in defensive stops and run-stuff percentage. He stopped opposing runners for zero or negative yards 15 times.
Among interior linemen, Williams’ is fifth in quarterback-pressure percentage.
"He’s improved big time and he’s going to continue to get better and better," linebacker Neville Hewitt said. "He’s only 23 years old. He’s going to be elite in this league."
The Jets are expected to fire Gase after their Week 17 game against the Patriots. But he said he hasn’t had any discussions with CEO Christopher Johnson about his future. Gase, when asked if he had a gut feeling, responded, "Nothing I’m really worried about."
Jets rookie punter Braden Mann made a game-saving tackle on a return in Sunday’s game. The Jets have been impressed with the former linebacker’s ability to bring down returners. Mann has four tackles this season.
"I’ve been around a couple (punters) that are willing, but I don’t think I’ve been around anybody that’s this good," Gase said. "He’s been phenomenal this year. We joke with the defensive guys that if we need to learn how to tackle, we’ll just bring him over to the defensive side."
The Jets could start Bryce Hager at inside linebacker for Harvey Langi, who was put on IR with a neck injury. Gase said some practice squad guys will get an opportunity. Linebackers on the practice team are Noah Dawkins, Sharif Finch and Brady Sheldon. … Cornerback Javelin Guidry didn’t practice due to a knee injury. . . . Tight end Ryan Griffin was placed on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list.