New York Jets rookie wide receiver Shaq Evans wasn’t having the best of training camps, but things went from bad to worse when he suffered a significant shoulder injury after a few days of struggling. Rex Ryan stated that the injury was “pretty bad” and added that he expected Evans to miss the entire season. It looks like that’s indeed a possibility, as Evans tweeted this morning that he is undergoing surgery today.
It’s unclear how significant the injury or surgery is, but I wouldn’t expect him to play this season. While the Jets could use depth at wide receiver, Evans didn’t play particularly well before the injury and should be redshirted by the Jets. I would expect him to hit the injured reserve, but we’ll see what happens. Fellow fourth-round rookie receiver Jalen Saunders is the more impressive player and should be a big factor this year, but the Oklahoma and Fresno State product had a “medical issue” before a single-car crash; his status also remains unclear.
Evans has an advanced understanding of route-running and disguising routes against receivers, and he was capable of making some big plays while at UCLA. Brett Hundley’s top target, Evans should be a nice possession receiver in this league and looks like a future No. 4 receiver for the Jets behind Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, and Saunders (or David Nelson). He’ll need to have a strong camp and preseason next year to lock up a roster spot, because I don’t think he’ll be out there this year. We wish Evans nothing but the best in his recovery, because it always hurts to see a rookie go down so early, especially someone who seems as nice of a person as Evans.