Blog Entry

Don't take Kris Jenkins comeback attempt lightly

Posted on: October 8, 2010 8:23 pm
 
Posted by Andy Benoit

You have to admire Kris Jenkins’ determination. In Week 1 the 31-year-old tore his ACL for the second time in two years. Rehab on the injured knee is particularly tough for Jenkins because, since he’s unable to run, his weight skyrockets into the 400-pound range.

But despite his age, size and history, Jenkins is not ready to settle for retirement. He recently said that he’s attempting to come back in 2011. "I'm in uncharted waters,” Jenkins told Greg Bishop of the New York Times. “But I'm at the point where I don't care what anybody thinks. I want to leave my mark on the game."K. Jenkins (US Presswire)

This is the second time in Jenkins’ decade-long career that he’s missed back-to-back seasons due to injury. Many forget that, early in his career as a Panther, he was far and away the best defensive tackle in football. But in 2004 he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Carolina’s fifth game. In 2005, he came back but (and this might sound familiar) tore his ACL in the season opener.

The injuries exacerbated Jenkins’ struggle with alcoholism and depression at that time, and the many NFL insiders who questioned his commitment and maturity only grew more skeptical. However, Jenkins came back in 2006 and earned Pro Bowl honors.

When he joined the Jets in 2008, doubters wondered whether he’d be committed to taking on double teams as the nose tackle in a 3-4. (He had always been a gap-penetrator on Carolina’s four-man defensive line). Jenkins responded with another Pro Bowl campaign.

In the six seasons he’s been healthy, Jenkins has gone to four Pro Bowls. He’ll only be 32 when (if) the 2011 season kicks off. Plenty of nose tackles have been productive in their 30s (Pat Williams in Minnesota’s unique 4-3 scheme, Ted Washington, Keith Traylor, Sam Adams, Jamal Williams, etc.) In other words, don’t bet against the Jets veteran leader.

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Category: NFL
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