New York Jets’ Carl Lawson suffers ruptured Achilles, out for 2021 NFL season

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The New York Jets were hoping prized free-agent acquisition Carl Lawson would realize his full potential as a top-flight pass-rusher in 2021 and in the years to come, but his maiden season with Gang Green will never be.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo initially reported Lawson was undergoing an MRI on his Achilles after being carted off the practice field Thursday:

The indications were initially quite ominous for Lawson and the Jets, as the severity of a lower leg injury is often quickly apparent when an Achilles is involved.

The Jets have no confirmed what most feared. Carl Lawson has suffered a ruptured Achilles and will miss the entire 2021 season.

The Jets had four players sustain injuries during Thursday’s practice with the Packers. Both DE Carl Lawson, who ruptured his Achilles, and S Zane Lewis, who tore his patella tendon/suffered a sprained MCL, will miss the 2021 season,” the Jets reported, via their official website.

Impact of Carl Lawson rupturing Achilles

carl lawson ruptured achilles

Last season with the Cincinnati Bengals, Lawson graded as Pro Football Focus’ eighth-best pass-rusher. Even though he only recorded 5.5 sacks, he was a constant force in pressuring quarterbacks. Cincinnati let him walk, however, and he signed a three-year, $45 million deal with the Jets.

New head coach Robert Saleh benefited from a great defensive front during his time as San Francisco 49ers coordinator. The hope was that Lawson and Quinnen Williams could form a dynamic duo in the trenches and help New York markedly improve on that side of the ball in 2021. Now, that desired vision is a thing of the past.

The Jets already lack depth at defensive end. There aren’t many viable players behind Lawson who could even come close to emulating his production. Thus, Saleh and his staff will have to get creative with exotic blitz packages and simulated pressure with Carl Lawson sidelined for the season.

Rookie No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson will be leading the Jets’ offense, and with Lawson out for the long haul, he’ll need to be the latest rookie QB phenom to help keep the team competitive.

See if the Jets make the cut in our latest NFL playoff predictions

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