Hamstring Injury Will Slow Down Development of Jets 3rd-Round LB Demario Davis

Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterJuly 26, 2012

May 24, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Demario Davis (49) during organized team activities at their training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

New York Jets third-round pick Demario Davis had coaches and players alike raving about his leadership, work ethic and versatility this spring. The name "Ray Lewis" was even thrown around by head coach Rex Ryan. Davis is going to have to wait a bit to pick up where he left off after failing a conditioning test at the open of training camp. 

Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday reports that Davis popped a hamstring according to Ryan, but Ryan doesn't think it is "that severe". Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press reported that Ryan also said the injury caused Davis to fail his conditioning test.

Davis was seeing time in the first-team subpackages because of his ability to drop into coverage and rush the passer with equal aplomb. If he misses most of camp with this injury, it will hard for the Jets to trust him in those situations early in the season.

The Jets should err on the side of caution with Davis's return because of the propensity for hamstring injuries to linger or become aggravated if a player returns too early from them.

Davis's willingness to show up on off days and spend time mastering his role with linebackers coach Bob Sutton caught the eye of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, and it could help him overcome the missed reps. The rookie was so impressive in the spring that it opened up the possibility of him winning a job in the base defense in place of Bart Scott, who is probably only around because his $4-plus million dollar salary is fully guaranteed. 

The Demario Davis train has slowed, even come to a stop right now, but look for the rookie to start gaining momentum again as soon as he can take the field.