As if things couldn’t get any worse for the New York Jets at this point, one of their top wide receivers, who originally was expected to miss the remainder of 2016 with a shoulder injury, just got even worse news. With the Jets currently reeling after losing four straight games and starting the season off with a 1-5 record, a part of their early-season struggles could have something to do with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick not having one of his favorite targets. The bad news for Fitzpatrick, and whoever the QB for the Jets in 2017 is, is that Decker may miss all of 2016 and the entire next season as well.
According to Eric Allen of the team’s official website, Decker had hip surgery on Tuesday. Yes, hip surgery, which is surprisingly due to the fact that he was originally placed on injured reserve for a torn rotator cuff back on October 12. As Allen points out, the hip surgery was “deemed necessary” when an evaluation of Decker’s shoulder was being done.
So, how do the two injuries result in nearly two full seasons possibly being missed? That’s the brutal part of it all.
Not only does Decker need to have the hip surgery, but after that, the doctors will have to wait until he’s off crutches in order to then have another surgery, this time on his shoulder. The recovery time for his hip surgery is six months, but it’s unknown when exactly he’ll be off crutches. From there, the recovery time for his shoulder surgery is eight months.
It’s hard to do the exact math in terms of what Decker could be looking at in terms of time away from the field, but missing all of 2017 doesn’t seem out of the question currently. It’s a major concern for the Jets offense, as they’ve struggled without Decker in the lineup. During Decker’s time with the Jets, he’s played in 33 games, totaling 163 receptions, 2,183 yards and 19 touchdowns.
In the three games since Decker was sidelined, it’s been pretty much disastrous for the Jets offense. Fitzpatrick, specifically, has thrown two touchdowns against four interceptions, while the offense as a whole’s best showing was 316 total yards. Most recently during their 28-3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, they had just 230 yards of total offense.
The Jets are not only missing Decker, but they’re missing consistency at the quarterback position, and offensive production pretty much across the board. WR Quincy Enunwa has stepped into Decker’s role and performed at times, but obviously isn’t Decker, a player who had formed a great connection with Fitzpatrick.
To tack onto the fact that the Jets now may have a hole at wide receiver throughout not only 2016, but 2017 as well, they also may be in search for a new quarterback after this season (or sooner). Jets fans will keep their fingers crossed that the team is able to get Decker back before the end of the 2017 season but based on the facts, it seems as though New York may be facing a bit of a rebuild over the next few years.