New York Jets star defensive tackle Sione Pouhais reportedly out for the entire preseason- or at least, he “doesn’t expect to play”- due to tightness in his back. An MRI revealed that there is no structural damage to his lower back, but it’s safer for the 33-year-old veteran nose tackle to sit out the preseason.
Rex Ryan isn’t even sure if the top run-stopping tackle will be ready for the first week of the regular season, which is concerning for the Jets. Signed to a new three-year, $15 million deal this offseason, Pouha is the most important piece to this defensive line. He has the ability to eat up blockers and swallow running backs while redirecting runs. He’s a big reason why the Jets have arguably the best run defense in the NFL.
Pouha’s deal includes nearly $10 million in guarantees, so the Jets cannot over-extend their veteran investment in the preseason. These games aren’t important for Pouha, and the big deal here is that the injury is serious enough that it could affect him down the road. He might even miss regular season games due to it either early in the season or later on if things crop back up, so the Jets definitely need to take caution.
One of the best defensive tackles in the league, Sione Pouha played like that type of a player last season. He’s an important leader, player, and financial investment, so, again, missing the preseason is the most sensible thing. In fact, it’s definitely the least of the Jets and Pouha’s worries. He needs to get healthy for the regular season, and hopefully the back tightness doesn’t become a regular theme for him. I know I should be an ill-wishing Pats writer, but it always stinks to see great players go down with injuries. I’d rather beat the Jets at their best.
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