Defensive lineman Leonard Williams has cleared concussion protocol and will be available for the Jets Sunday against the Chargers at MetLife Stadium.
Williams suffered the concussion in the third quarter of last weekend’s loss at the Saints while defending a screen pass. As Williams was tackling running back Alvin Kamara from behind, linebacker Demario Davis flew in and made helmet-to-helmet contact with his teammate. Williams said he didn’t feel like there was any problem after the play, but spotters determined he needed to be evaluated for a concussion. Williams was then pulled from the game.
Considering the controversy surrounding concussions right now – the Seahawks were fined $ 100,000 this week for not following proper protocol with quarterback Russell Wilson in Week 10 – Williams is appreciative of the process.
“I understand where the doctors are coming from,” Williams said Friday in Florham Park. “At the end of the day, just missing one half of a game for my long-term health is worth it. Even though I technically felt like nothing was really wrong with me, from a doctor’s standpoint, they’re going to have to do everything right to make sure that there’s nothing wrong. And if that’s going to prevent me from having any type of brain or head injuries, then that’s what they got to do.”
Right guard Brian Winters will not play in Sunday’s game. Winters has been dealing with an abdomen injury since suffering it in a Week 2 loss at the Raiders, but he’s only missed one game – a Week 3 home win over the Dolphins.
Winters has also battled through an ankle sprain for much of this season. The abdomen injury, though, is what’s preventing him from playing this weekend.
Todd Bowles said Winters could require offseason surgery to repair the “nagging” abdomen injury, which was originally characterized as a muscle strain. The offensive lineman missed the final two games last year because of a shoulder injury that eventually needed surgery. He signed a a four-year contract extension this past winter.
“He’s a tough guy,” Bowles said. “He’s been dealing with it, and we’ll work on it after the season.”
Either Dakota Dozier or Brent Qvale will start in Winters’ place Sunday.
Running backs Matt Forte (knee) and Elijah McGuire (illness) are both questionable. Neither practiced Friday. Center Wesley Johnson (hip) is also questionable and was limited in practice Friday. Dozier or Jonotthan Harrison will start for Johnson if he can’t go.
Bowles would not confirm if defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson will play Sunday. Wilkerson was benched and left home last week after showing up late to the Jets’ facility Friday. It was the second time this season Bowles benched Wilkerson for tardiness. Wilkerson practiced fully on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week.
“We’ll give you the inactives on Sunday,” Bowles said.