One of the newest Atlanta Falcons players is dealing with an issue on the first day of camp.
Veteran safety J.J. Wilcox will miss the entire 2019 season after suffering a torn ACL after his initial appearance at training camp, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Wilcox was seen limping off the field on Monday and required the help of Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal as he was unable to put any weight on his right knee.
Team trainers then took a long look at the knee and he did not return to the field.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) July 22, 2019
Wilcox originally signed with the Falcons three days before the NFL Draft as the team was interested in acquiring a veteran presence among their safety rotation.
Originally a third round draft pick six years ago by the Dallas Cowboys, Wilcox played four seasons for that team, starting 38 games as a safety, recording 212 combined tackles, breaking up 15 pass attempts, intercepting five more, and recovering three fumbles. Following his career in Dallas, Wilcox suited up for the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets, both last season. He also spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016.
Wilcox signed a one year contract with Atlanta with the expectation of starting the 2019 season as Neal’s backup at the strong safety spot.
New of the Wilcox injury follows another report that reserve defensive tackle Michael Bennett broke his ankle during his initial reps at camp, though the severity of that injury is not yet known.
Injuries were a serious issue at the safety position for the Falcons, who lost both starters Neal and Allen early last season, and their pass defense suffered as a result.
In all, the Falcons finished ranked sixth worst league, allowing six yards per play on average, and their pass defense ranked 27th overall, allowing 33 passing touchdowns, the fourth most in football, and surrendered 260 air yards per game on average, also the fourth most in the NFL.