Jets LB Mauldin facing potential season-ending back surgery

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Lorenzo Mauldin’s season appears to be over before it ever started.

The New York Jets linebacker has a herniated disk in his back that likely will need season-ending surgery.

”Lorenzo found out today,” coach Todd Bowles said Thursday. ”He got some tests run. They’re recommending surgery, so he has to get a second opinion and we’ll go from there, but his back got significantly worse.”

Mauldin, 24, is on the injured reserve list after missing almost all of training camp and each of the four preseason games because of the back ailment. He returned for one practice midway through camp, but hasn’t been on the field since.

”It got better at times,” Bowles said. ”It was up and down with him and it took a turn for the worse.”

The New York Post first reported that Mauldin needs surgery and his season is likely over.

Mauldin is in his third season with the Jets after being a third-round draft choice out of Louisville in 2015. He was expected to compete for a starting job at outside linebacker this year, and has so far failed to live up to expectations. Mauldin has just 6 + sacks in 26 NFL games.

He is also facing some off-field issues after he was accused of punching a man in a New York nightclub in April. Mauldin was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge, but has not been formally charged. He is also being sued by the accuser.

NOTES: DL Claude Pelon was waived after practice, but the Jets didn’t announce a corresponding roster move. … OL Jonotthan Harrison suffered a concussion in practice Wednesday and didn’t participate Thursday. Bowles said he and S Rontez Miles, recovering from a broken eye socket, will likely not play at Oakland on Sunday. … LB Edmond Robinson (groin), TE Eric Tomlinson (elbow), LB Bruce Carter (ankle) and TE Jordan Leggett (knee) also did not practice, but hadn’t yet been ruled out to play. … Special teams coordinator Brant Boyer said kicker Chandler Catanzaro, punter Lachlan Edwards and long snapper Thomas Hennessy practiced at a nearby minor league baseball stadium to prepare for the infield dirt at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The stadium is home to both the Raiders and baseball’s Athletics, so it is converted from a diamond to a football field for Raiders home games – with the baseball field visible from about the 50-yard line to the 20 on either side.

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