New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, fighting a career-threatening neck injury that will keep him off the field in 2020, still hopes to play again one day. But that decision, he said, no longer is in his control.
In an interview with ESPN, Enunwa stated Wednesday it was “devastating” to learn recently he had been ruled out for the season. Now, he said, the only thing he can do is play the waiting game.
“If I’m capable of playing, then that’s what I’ll do,” he said, making his first public comments since the end of the campaign. “If it comes down to the fact that the doctors say I can’t, there’s not much I can do. There’s really nothing I can do there, but if I have the ability to (play), the passion will always be there, the want-to will always be there.
“I think, aside from obviously my neck, the physical ability will always be there. It’s really just about me going for the ride, I guess, because I’m not in control of that part anymore.”
On May 5, Enunwa was placed on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list, making him ineligible for 2020. The move came as no surprise; the team had expressed no optimism about his opportunity for a return.
Enunwa, who missed the 2017 season due to a neck injury that required surgery, re-injured it in the 2019 opener and missed the final 15 games.
He didn’t have another surgery. By the end of 2020, he will have missed almost three full seasons out of the last four.
Enunwa said he has no regrets.
Asked about his future with the Jets, Enunwa said, “I’m under contract. I want to be a Jet for life. I saw Eli Manning say something. On his Twitter page he wrote, ‘Once a Giant, always a Giant, only a Giant.’ It would be cool to say that as a Jet.”
Enunwa, who turns 28 on Sunday, admitted the time away from football has taken an emotional toll.
He hasn’t been able to work out at the Jets’ facility because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Enunwa, who lives in New Jersey, said it hasn’t affected his rehab because he can do it at home. He hopes to be around the team when it returns.
Before the second injury, Enunwa was considered one of the Jets’ top young players. His best season was 2016, when he caught 58 passes for 857 yards.