The New York Jets‘ injury woes have been well-documented. Now, it appears it’s cost one player his job.
Starting fullback John Conner, a once-promising young talent who’s battled inconsistency and injury woes, has been cut by the Jets after the emergence of recently-signed veteran fullback Lex Hilliard.
Dubbed “The Terminator” because of his similar name to John Connor, the main protagonist of the Terminator movie franchise, Conner had been hampered by hamstring and knee problems and could not get on the field lately.
The 25-year-old Conner got his 15 minutes of fame back in training camp in 2010, when he was one of the stars of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” as a fifth-round rookie fullback trying to make his coaches proud.
Rex Ryan hand-picked John Conner as a guy he believed would be his fullback of the future, but Conner has never been able to live up to the flashes of brilliance he showed as a rookie when he was mentored by Tony Richardson.
Richardson, one of the great fullbacks of his generation, retired after that 2010 season, and Conner has been the starter ever since. But injuries have kept him off the field and he was maddeningly inconsistent when he did play.
Lex Hilliard has been pretty shaky himself, but in just two weeks with the team, he’s given the Jets more stability at fullback than they’ve had in a while and the Jets will take it.
After carrying both fullbacks for the last two weeks, the Jets were apparently ready to say “hasta la vista” to the Terminator.
To take Conner’s roster spot, the Jets promoted undrafted rookie linebacker/safety Marcus Dowtin to the active roster. Dowtin, nicknamed “the Hybrid” because of his versatility, was in camp with the team.
It’s possible that Conner could return down the road, but first he needs to prove he’s healthy enough to practice. Perhaps once he’s healed up, he can confidently tell NFL teams, “I’ll be back.”