Linebacker Jermaine Cunningham was never able to truly take off when it came to his professional football career. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn Achilles tendon this past weekend in a scrimmage game with the New York Jets that will keep him off the field for all of the upcoming season. It’s truly sad since he had potential to be a very solid player, but off-field distractions kept him from really making a name for himself.
Having played with the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers and the Jets, Cunningham has been a journeyman who couldn’t find a stable environment to thrive in. What makes matters worse for him is that he was given a clean slate with the Jets last year despite his past. Just a few years ago, he was suspended for four games by the NFL for using PEDs.
The Jets originally brought him in to bring quality depth to their linebacking corps. In this year’s training camp, he was said to be competing as a backup to starting linebacker Quinton Coples. This severe injury will definitely end his tenure with the Jets since before this incident occurred, they signed Jason Babin as insurance for such a situation.
In the end, Cunningham might go down as one of those athletes with a big question mark surrounding him. Could he have restarted his career with the Jets and made some major contributions to the team? Was he capable of turning things around to become a solid backup linebacker who could make big plays?
Who knows, he might be able to turn his career around yet — it just will be somewhere else, as the Jets are expected to move on without him.