The New York Jets dodged a bullet early Saturday morning when defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was able to walk away from a car accident on the Garden State Parkway. Wilkerson, the Jets’ 2011 first round draft pick, was charged with careless driving and failure to maintain his lane when his 2011 Dodge Challenger struck a Toyota Sienna carrying ten people. There were no major injuries reported by anyone in the Sienna but three people complained of pain but declined treatment according to New Jersey State Police. Wilkerson’s car overturned after striking the Sienna and he was able to crawl out of his car.
Wilkerson was taken to a Newark, NJ hospital and required stitches to his forearm and will not interfere with his ability to be ready for training camp which starts on July 26th. Police said they didn’t believe alcohol was involved in the crash. Wilkerson is extremely lucky. Police reported that his Challenger travelled more than 10 yards on its roof after overturning.
Wilkerson becomes the second New York area draft pick in three years to be involved in a serious automobile accident. New York Giants safety Chad Jones nearly lost his leg in a car crash a couple of months after he was selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Jones is still trying to make his way into the NFL after that accident. Wilkerson was very lucky his accident wasn’t that serious.
The Jets are expecting big things from Wilkerson this season after he started to show improvement towards the end of last year and in mini-camp this month. Wilkerson will still be counted on to make a major contribution on the defensive line this season and there is no reason that he won’t. The talent is there and it appears the coaching is going to pay dividends. He, and the Jets, are lucky the worst thing that happened was a cut on the arm. It could have been much worse.