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Jets Rumors: Starting LB Avery Williamson Out for Season with Torn ACL Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2019

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 08: Linebacker Avery Williamson #54 of the New York Jets in action against the New York Giants during their Preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 08, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
Al Pereira/Getty Images

New York Jets linebacker Avery Williamson reportedly suffered a torn ACL during Thursday's preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Williamson will miss the entire 2019 season.

Williamson was expected to be one of the Jets' two starting inside linebackers after starting all 16 games for the team last season.

The 27-year-old Williamson enjoyed a career year for the Jets in 2018 with 120 tackles, three sacks and one interception. He spent the first four seasons of his career with the Tennessee Titans and recorded at least 92 tackles in three of those campaigns.

During his first five NFL seasons, Williamson missed only one game, so durability had never been a question prior to Thursday's devastating injury.

The Jets signed linebacker C.J. Mosley away from the Baltimore Ravens in free agency during the offseason, which eases some of the sting that comes with losing Williamson. Still, it is a significant blow since New York runs a 3-4 defense.

There is no clear choice to step in for Williamson, but rookie fifth-round pick Blake Cashman likely has the most upside. Other options include Neville Hewitt, James Burgess and Anthony Wint.

Hewitt made 39 tackles for the Jets last season, appearing in all 16 games and making four starts. Meanwhile, Burgess made nine starts for the Cleveland Browns two seasons ago and finished with 70 tackles and four sacks.

The Jets traded 2016 first-round pick Darron Lee to the Kansas City Chiefs in May, which left them without a truly experienced option in terms of overall playing time behind Mosley and Williamson.