Just when the optimism was reaching new heights, Murphy’s Law reared its ugly head into the middle of the New York Jets to remind them that it very much still exists.
Defensive end Carl Lawson was carted off the practice field on Thursday during joint sessions with the Green Bay Packers with what is being described as a leg injury, per multiple reports.
The 26-year-old, who signed a three-year, $45 million deal to join the Jets after four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, was having a barnstorming camp with Gang Green. It was the first indication that the franchise found a menacing force to provide overwhelming pressure off the edge.
“It’s historically hard [to find] in general,” Jets first-year head coach Robert said last week of the difficulties that come with finding threatening edge rushers. “I always argue that for every quarterback, you need two great edge-rushers. They are hard to come by. There are good edge-rushers around the league — don’t get me wrong — and there are a lot of good quarterbacks around the league, but those ones that transcend the game are rare through the history of time.
“To be able to get one in this building like Carl, it’s awesome.”
Over his first four NFL seasons, the Auburn product has recorded 20 sacks including 8.5 during his rookie season. Last year, he posted 5.5, which was the second-most of his professional tenure.
The change of scenery to the Jets looked as though it further revitalized Lawson, as he put up a number of multi-sack practices throughout camp, catching the eye of first-year head coach Robert Saleh.
“If you watch the [game] tape, he beats everybody, so it’s not foreign to him to win,” Saleh said of Lawson last week. “What’s cool though is his work ethic and the way he goes about his day-to-day process. He is relentless with his body.
“There’s an old saying that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard, but, this dude, not only is he talented, but he works his absolute butt off. And because of it, you see results.”
Should Lawson’s injury be as severe as it looked — prompting him to be carted off the field — this is potentially a massive early blow for the Jets with three weeks remaining before the start of the regular season.