When the Jets took nose tackle Kenrick Ellis in the third round of the 2011 Draft, they did so knowing that he faced a trial on felony charges.
Ellis has been accused of malicious wounding after an altercation with a man on the Hampton University campus. Ellis allegedly broke the man’s nose and jaw, although Ellis has claimed that he was acting in self defense when the man came after him with a baseball bat. The trial was delayed last year, but there’s a pre-trial hearing this week and the trial is currently set to start on May 22nd.
Ellis, whose college career started at South Carolina before he was dismissed for violating team rules, faces up to 20 years in prison if he’s convicted and, as a permanent resident born in Jamaica, could be deported as well. On top of that, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports that he faces a civil suit connected to the incident.
Although he played just 69 snaps as a rookie, the Jets view Ellis as a backup for Sione Pouha now and a potential replacement down the road. Assuming he’s still free to play for them, of course.