Quinnen Williams thought he suffered a serious shoulder injury Sunday, but it didn’t keep him out long.
When the pain lessened and the Jets’ medical staff gave him the option to play or rest, he chose to put a harness on his shoulder and return to the field.
"The first thing in my head was I got to finish this game," Williams said Monday. "I got to finish this season off strong, give us an opportunity to win football games and stuff like that.
"I was just really trying to show myself I can push through pain because there are people going through way worse stuff on the team. So I could push through this little pain that I had to finish this game for my teammates and the coaching [staff] and the organization and the guys in the [D-line] room."
The defensive tackle had an MRI on the shoulder Monday. He wouldn’t reveal the extent of the injury but said he expects to play through it.
Coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich called Williams "old school" and praised his toughness and team-first attitude in coming back to finish the game against the Saints.
"It just seems like this new age, they’re not built like him," Saleh said. "It’s much appreciated for him to show that because at the end of the day, teams that win championships have a bunch of those guys on their roster."
Said Ulbrich: "The fact that not only did he come back and play with the injury but he played well. Just the testament to the man he is, football player he is. Old school in every way. He’s going to be a big reason that we turn this thing around."
Williams said he will trust whatever the Jets’ medical staff tells him he needs to do after they helped him rehab from a broken foot in the spring. He hasn’t missed a game this season and is tied for the team lead with six sacks.
"We had a great conversation on how can I finish out the season and be dominant," Williams said. "Not just finish out the season but be dominant, be myself every single play. I feel like we got a great plan together."
The Jets are meeting virtually all week in an attempt to prevent any illnesses from spreading.
They have players dealing with COVID-19 and non-COVID-related illnesses. There also has been an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the league.
Receiver Jeff Smith has COVID-19 and special teams player Justin Hardee was placed on the reserve/ COVID-19 list on Monday. Running back Austin Walter and defensive end Ronnie Blair woke up ill Sunday and couldn’t play.
Saleh said practice and walk-throughs will be in person, but meetings will be done virtually.
"As far as stuffing everybody in a meeting room where we can spread the virus, we’re just keeping it virtual for now," Saleh said. "The next time we’re all in one room together will be on the airplane to Miami."
Good news on health
The Jets expect to see the return this week of running backs Michael Carter (ankle) and Tevin Coleman (concussion), nickel back Michael Carter II (concussion), defensive end Bryce Huff (back) and tight end Tyler Kroft (chest). Carter, Huff and Kroft have been on injured reserve.
Moore’s not done
Saleh said receiver Elijah Moore, who was put on IR Saturday with a quadriceps injury, should be able to return for the final two games.