Quincy Enunwa's 2016 season saw him break out for 857 yards with the Jets. But following two serious neck injuries - one that kept him out all of 2017 and another that held him to just one game in 2019 and landed him on the PUP list for 2020, ending his season again - Enunwa's playing career has been put in jeopardy.
But the soon-to-be 28-year-old still wants to play.
In an interview with ESPN's Rich Cimini, Enunwa talked about the challenges, both mental and physical, of missing out on the game he loves, while also saying he still has the passion to play, if he's physically able.
"If I'm capable of playing, then that's what I'll do," Enunwa told ESPN. "If it comes down to the fact that the doctors say I can't, there's not much I can do. There's really nothing I can do there, but if I have the ability to [play], the passion will always be there, the want-to will always be there.
"I think, aside from obviously my neck, the physical ability will always be there. It's really just about me going for the ride, I guess, because I'm not in control of that part anymore."
After a long road back from recovery from his 2017 neck surgery, Enunwa played in 10 games in 2018, catching 38 passes for 449 yards and a touchdown.
Then, in the 2019 opener, Enunwa re-injured his neck. And rather than electing to have another surgery, he tried to stick to a rehab plan that didn't involve going back under the knife. But in early May, Enunwa was officially placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, ending his 2020 season before it had a chance to get off the ground.
Emotionally, the receiver is drained.
"The simple word is just depressed, I guess," Enunwa said to ESPN. "If I'm being completely candid, there were times where it was tough to navigate what I was going through and then trying to figure out how to be comfortable coming into the facility, knowing there's a possibility this whole game could be taken away from me. It's been tough and it was tough, but I'm definitely handling it much better now than I was before."
But despite all the tough times, including missing 31 games over the last three seasons and presumably another 16 games in 2020, Enunwa is still holding out hope that if he can get his body right, he will play NFL football once again.
And he wants it to be with the Jets.
"I want to be a Jet for life," said Enunwa. "I saw Eli Manning say something. On his Twitter page he wrote, 'Once a Giant, always a Giant, only a Giant.' It would be cool to say that as a Jet."
"The passion I played with, that's never left," Enunwa said to ESPN. "I think if everything goes the way I hope it goes, it's still going to be there for me. My physical ability has not left. I've just been kind of like slowed down, hampered, you know? I'm doing my best to work around those limitations that I have. Again, that passion is not gone."