"Looking back on it—hindsight is 20/20—I wish I would've gotten him out of there a series earlier," Gase said of linebacker Avery Williamson, who suffered a torn ACL in the second quarter, per Rich Cimini of ESPN. "I talked to him. It's on me. I'm the one who has to make that call and get him out of there. We didn't. It's a shame because he was having a good camp."
Cimini noted Williamson was the only defensive starter still on the field for the Jets when cornerback Tevaughn Campbell dove into his knee while trying to make a play.
Gase explained Williamson was still playing so he could further learn the new position of weak-side linebacker and gain experience next to Neville Hewitt.
Still, he said "I do" when asked if he regretted having the linebacker on the field.
Williamson was coming off a breakthrough 2018 campaign that saw him post 120 total tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and an interception. He was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing 4-12 season and figured to be one of the team's primary defensive contributors in 2019.
New York will likely turn toward Hewitt and Anthony Witt to help account for his absence alongside C.J. Mosley at the inside linebacker position.
Even if they play well, the Jets will have difficulty replicating Williamson's impact on a defense that is looking to bounce back after finishing 29th in the league in points allowed last season.