Jets Will Miss Reliable Bilal Powell

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Bilal Powell’s season, and possibly his career, is over.

The neck injury Powell suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings will require surgery, head coach Todd Bowles confirmed the news in his press conference.

Powell’s injury is a disc issue, it’s similar to the bulging disc wide receiver Quincy Enunwa had in training camp last year. Enunwa eventually needed surgery and missed all of last season. Powell’s injury, according to Bowles, “may be worse”.

Bowles also added how Powell’s surgery goes will determine if he’s able to resume playing.

“Anytime you lose a starter – Bilal’s one of the hardest workers on this team –it’s a big blow from that standpoint,” Bowles said. “But you worry more about the person healing than you do the football player. So that’s where we’re at.”

Powell’s work ethic, skill set, and reliability will be missed by the Jets. He’s been a mainstay of the offense since the Rex Ryan years.

But, at 29 years old, Powell’s already logged a lot of yards on his legs. If he’s able to return to football after the surgery, his future with the Jets will still be up in the air. Powell’s an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The Jets are not just losing a running back, they’re losing a key member of their locker room. Powell’s well-respected by the coaches and his peers. This is a team with a young core, they’re now going to be down one less veteran in the huddle.

Powell never developed into the perennial 1,000 yard running back. But his hard-nosed play made him a fan favorite. Whenever Powell carried the football, he ran with reckless abandon.

The aftermath for the Jets is a field of with question marks.  The workload in the backfield shifts to Isaiah Crowell, but he’s been dealing with a sore foot. Rookie Trenton Cannon should expect to also get his number called more, the Jets need to see if he’s more than just a speedster.

Bowles hinted at looking to available free agents and the practice squad as options to help fill the void of losing Powell. Then there’s Elijah McGuire, currently on short-term injured reserve, he’s practicing with the team and is eligible to return soon.

The Jets have had a revolving door of running backs alongside Powell since his rookie season in 2011. But Powell was the constant. He was Mr. Reliable and this team will miss him on the field and in the locker room.




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