Not only did the Jets fail to secure a playoff berth by losing to the Bills today, but the offseason status of one of their star players just got quite a bit more complicated. Head coach Todd Bowles told reporters, including Kimberly Martin of Newsday (Twitter link), that defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson suffered a broken leg during today’s contest.
Because he suffered the injury in early January, Wilkerson should have no trouble getting back on the field in time for next season. But Wilkerson could have his offseason workout routine disrupted, and more importantly, his contract expires at season’s end, meaning he’ll head to free agency amid questions about his health. The 26-year-old hadn’t been seeing any progress in extension talks with the Jets, and had looked like a candidate for the franchise tag.
A Pro Bowler this season, Wilkerson had played in 15 games, racking up an impressive 12 sacks and grading as the league’s No. 13 interior defender, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). I placed Wilkerson fourth in the inaugural edition of PFR’s 2016 Free Agent Power Rankings.