The worst fears have been realized for Carl Lawson.
The Jets have announced Lawson suffered a ruptured Achilles today at practice. He will miss the entire 2021 season.
Some unfortunate news is coming out of New York, as former Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson, now with the Jets, was carted out of practice Thursday with a leg injury. It came during a joint practice with the Green Bay Packers.
According to Darryl Slater of NJ.com, Lawson went down while pass-rushing during a red-zone period, then was surrounded by trainers. He eventually got up but didn’t put any weight on the injured leg before teammates assisted him to the cart.
Slater also noted that Lawson, “has been the Jets’ best player throughout camp,” which makes this news even more unfortunate.
Now, Ian Rapoport reports that tests are being done for an Achilles injury. Mike Garafolo adds that Lawson reported hearing a ‘pop’ when the injury occurred, a potential sign of a tear.
A fifth-year player in 2021, Lawson is one of the NFL’s more underrated pass-rushers. He doesn’t pile up sacks but generates frequent pressure on opposing QBs.
In 2020, the former Auburn Tigers star finished with 5.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and 32 total QB hits. Per Pro-Football-Reference.com, Lawson’s 44 pressures were nearly half of the total pressures from the Bengals’ entire defensive line (91).
In addition, Lawson was ranked 13th amongst starting edge defenders by Pro Football Focus (76.3), and ninth in pass-rushing grade (84.9).
According to ESPN’s Created Sacks metric, Lawson was the first defender to win his block on 10.5 of Cincinnati’s 17 sacks last season. This means he helped create an additional five sacks on top of his own 5.5.
However, injuries have plagued Lawson dating back to his days at Auburn. He suffered an ACL tear in 2014 and missed that entire year with the Tigers.
In 2018 with the Bengals, he suffered another ACL tear.
This past offseason Lawson left Cincinnati to sign a three-year, $45 million contract with the Jets. The Bengals responded by signing New Orleans Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson to a four-year, $60 million contract. Hendrickson has been one of Bengals’ the training camp stars on defense thus far.