EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 22: Foley Fatukasi #94 of the New York Jets reacts against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium on December 22, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

The New York Jets will now be without one of their best defensive players, Foley Fatukasi, as he’s been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Robby Sabo

The New York Jets placed Foley Fatukasi on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, per the league’s transaction wire.

According to the New York Post’s Brian Costello, Fatukasi has been placed on the dreaded list courtesy of contact tracing. He’s been in close contact with somebody that has tested positive for the virus.

Fatukasi, 25, is a monster of an interior defensive lineman. Plugging up holes and stopping the run is what he routinely does on the football field.

Currently ranked eighth among all interior defensive linemen by Pro Football Focus, with a grade of 86.2, Fatukasi’s probable absence will be a tremendous loss for a team looking for its first victory. Considering it’s Thursday, there’s no shot he’ll have ample time to clear the necessary COVID-19 protocols in time for Sunday’s game.

Not one NFL player at his position ranks higher than Fatukasi when defending the run, per PFF. His 89.9 run defense grade edges the likes of Cameron Heyward and Aaron Donald.

The Jets will enter Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams without their best run-stuffing option, meaning young Quinnen Williams will be looked upon as a guy who’ll need to step it up in that regard.

Big Q is no slouch himself. He currently ranks 12th when defending the run and 19th from an overall IDL perspective (one spot ahead of former Jet Leonard Williams).

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The Jets and Rams are scheduled to get things going at 4:05 p.m. ET from Los Angeles this Sunday.

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Robby Sabo is a co-founder, developer and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor | Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (sold in 2020). SEO: XLM Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com
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