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Quincy Enunwa was coming off a breakout season and looking to
establish himself last summer as a big-time playmaker for the New York Jets.

In one scary moment Womens
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, that came to an abrupt halt.

The wide receiver was running a route when he dropped a pass during 7-on-7
drills. He took a step and fell to the turf face-first despite not having been

He didn’t move for a few moments. His neck wouldn’t let him.

Fear set in, if only briefly, that Enunwa’s football career could be in

”At the beginning,” he recalled after a recent training camp practice,

Enunwa had a bulging disk in his neck, the culmination of problems he had
been dealing with for most of the last several months. He had surgery a few
weeks later and was reassured he would be able to play again. But first there
would be several months of grueling rehab.

”I knew physically, there was no way that I would not be back on the field,”
Enunwa said. ”I knew I would hit every timetable and do everything I needed to
do. I have confidence in myself as a physical guy, so I knew I was going to do
the work and get back as soon as possible.”

Enunwa’s comeback appears nearly complete.

After sitting out offseason workouts and participating on a limited basis in
minicamp, the former Nebraska star has been practicing every day during training

”It feels really good, yeah,” he said. ”I mean, there are really no issues.
I’m having fun, flying around. I can’t complain.”

Enunwa is still wearing a red, no-contact pinnie during padded
practices Womens
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, but hopes to shed that soon.

”I’d say it’s protocol,” he said. ”I’m just going on their kind of timeline,
doing what I need to do, but I’m having fun, though.”

Coach Todd Bowles wouldn’t declare Enunwa as being at ”full speed” just

”He’s doing everything, but it’s just precautionary,” Bowles said. ”We’ll
find a time and place and see if we get it right.”

Enunwa was a sixth-round draft pick of the Jets in 2014 and saw limited
action in his first two seasons. In 2016, he emerged as a vital part of the
offense by working in a hybrid wide receiver/tight end/H-back role and setting
career highs with 58 catches for 857 yards and four touchdowns.

Even more was expected going into last season – until the injury
short-circuited those plans.

The doctors took a cautious approach with Enunwa’s rehab, not wanting to rush
him back. But as the Jets trudged through a 5-11 season, Enunwa wished he could

”Physically, I was able to, but they told me not to,” he said. ”So, it was
kind of just sitting around and doing bike stuff, so those were the times when I
was really anxious to get back out there to run and catch passes.”

He has been doing exactly that during the first four practices of
camp Bobby
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, including catching a touchdown toss from rookie Sam
Darnold in team drills Monday.

Enunwa says his days of being an H-back are over – ”I was drafted as a
receiver and I want to play receiver – and he helps give the Jets an intriguing
group that also includes Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse and Terrelle Pryor.

”It’s great to have Q back out there,” quarterback Josh McCown said. ”Just
his energy and his work ethic is great to have on the field.”

At 6-foot-2 and a well-chiseled 225 pounds, the 26-year-old Enunwa is a
physical specimen. With his mix of size, strength and speed, he reminds McCown
of a former star teammate.

”I had the opportunity to play with Anquan Boldin and Quincy kind of has that
after-catch, that tough mentality,” McCown said. ”Every day he’s on the field
with us and is back I think is a good day for us.”

This is a big year for Enunwa, and not just because of his comeback. He
signed his second-round restricted free agent tender in April, and could
potentially be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

”That next contract is what everybody wants to get to,” Enunwa said. ”So I’m
definitely looking forward to just playing my best right now. I’m not thinking
too much about the contract because I have my own personal goals, and I know
that those personal goals will help the team’s goals and will eventually help my
contract goals.

”So, for me, it’s just going out there and performing and showing what I can

LOS ANGELES — The Pittsburgh Pirates are undecided on a starter for
Wednesday’s series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and volunteers might
be hard to come by.

The Dodgers’ offense is coming off a productive June when they hit 55 home
runs Shane
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, most in a calendar month in franchise history. And at
the start of July, they look even better.

First the Dodgers crushed the Pirates on Monday to the tune of 17 runs and 21
hits. On Tuesday it was six home runs, including back-to-back homers from Joc
Pederson and Max Muncy to lead off the game. Muncy went deep twice and has 20 on
the season.

So with scheduled starter Joe Musgrove headed to the disabled list with a
finger infection, the Pirates must send somebody else to the wolves.

Right-hander Clay Holmes (0-0, 2.25 ERA) is expected to make his first start
of the season for Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He has pitched in two games for the
Pirates this season, and he threw two hitless, scoreless innings in his most
recent appearance June 24 against Arizona. He has never faced the Dodgers.

The Dodgers’ Rich Hill (1-3, 4.68) will make his fourth start since coming
off the disabled list because of a blister on the middle finger of his left

On Friday, Hill faced the Colorado Rockies and gave up one run on six hits
over 6 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts. He threw 110 pitches in that game,
validating the series of laser treatments he received while out of action.

“I was really pleased with the consistency of the flight of the ball,” Hill
said after his last outing, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The way the
curveball came out of my hand, the consistency of that. Everything really came
together tonight.”

Hill is 3-2 lifetime against the Pirates with a 3.25 ERA over nine starts,
although he is a far different pitcher than the first time he squared off
against them in 2006.

Holmes faces a major challenge against the Dodgers’ potent offense. When Matt
Kemp went 5-for-5 with a homer on Monday, it gave him a hit in eight consecutive

Also homering for the Dodgers on Tuesday were Yasmani Grandal Alex
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, Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor.

The Dodgers’ run-scoring onslaught has left the Pirates reeling. Not only did
the Pirates’ bullpen absorb five innings Monday, it was called on for three more
innings Tuesday. Tuesday’s starter, Ivan Nova, allowed seven runs on nine hits
in his five-plus innings.

“We’ve been a little short on the front end of things, which has provided
some complications on the bullpen,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said, according
to mlb.com.

The Dodgers will see their 10-game homestand come to an end Wednesday, but
their Southern California stay is just beginning. Next up is a “road trip” to
Anaheim and San Diego, before three more home games to close out the first

The Pirates are 2-3 on their six-game tour of Southern California, having
faced the San Diego Padres before arriving in Los Angeles. They are 4-4 on their
nine-game road trip, which also included a stop in New York to face the

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