In 2015, Robert Saleh was the Jaguars’ linebackers coach when Dante Fowler, whom the Jaguars had just drafted with the third overall pick, suffered a torn ACL at the start of rookie minicamp. Saleh has never forgotten that.
As a result, Saleh says that as head coach of the Jets he makes it clear to all the rookies that they need to take it slow and take care to avoid injuries at minicamp.
“I’m scarred. Dante Fowler, first play of rookie minicamp, tears his ACL and he’s out for his entire first season,” Saleh said.
Saleh said the minicamp will be an opportunity to get a first exposure to the playbook and see where the rookies are physically, but it won’t be necessary for the rookies to go all-out to try to prove anything.
“They’re going through all the meetings, they’re going through all the walk-throughs, they’re getting in good work and it’s getting us a chance to see where they are physically from a conditioning standpoint so we can get them caught up,” Saleh said.
Injuries can’t always be avoided, but NFL teams are wise to do what they can to limit them. Saleh knows that firsthand.