Jets Safety Will Parks added to the 53-Man Roster Monday After S Jordan Whitehead’s Injury. Life in the NFL can be fickle. But for Jets S Will Parks, who was cut at the end of training camp, added back to the practice squad in August and elevated to the 53-man roster on Wednesday, is a survivor.
Jets Safety Will Parks Journey Thus Far
A sixth-round pick of the Broncos in the 2016 NFL Draft, Parks has appeared in 76 games and made 20 starts with five different teams. His background has put his professional upheaval in perspective.
“I grew up in seeing people go through things. Seeing death right in front of me and things of that sort,” Parks said. “So, this kind of stuff with the football world kind of does not faze me.”
Will Parks spent four seasons with the Wildcats before spending the next four years with the Denver Broncos. An accomplished role player appearing in 62 games and starting 15. Parks accumulating 104 tackles, 13 pass deflections and 4 interceptions.
“There’s something from each and every single last one of those people’s games that I like to feel like I got in my game,” Parks said. “I learned a lot from all the guys in my room. When I am in a meeting room, I kind of write down not just my mistakes, but I write everybody else’s mistakes, so I can learn from them, too.”
In March of 2020, Parks had stints with his hometown Eagles, the Chiefs, the 49ers, the Dolphins and the Jets. After being released by the Kansas City on Aug. 23, 2021, Parks joined the 49ers practice squad in November, was signed by the Dolphins a few weeks later and then released in December. The Jets claimed Parks off waivers on Dec. 21st and he re-signed with the club on March 10th.
“Last year was kind of, pretty much, the rocky year for me,” Parks said. “Bouncing around and stuff like that. But it seems like I kind of found a home here. … I love the locker room. I love the guys in here and a lot of direction of the program.”
Head Coach Robert Saleh said on Wednesday that starting S Jordan Whitehead is dealing with an ankle injury and is questionable for Sunday’s game at Cleveland. Parks would be a candidate to replace Whitehead if the former Buccaneer is a gameday inactive.
“I’m always ready man, I’m always prepared,” he said. “Football is important to me, so if something is important to you, it is nothing. When they call you up and your numbers called you got to be ready to go.”
Parks was brought back on the practice squad and makes you feel okay on the backend of the defense. The 25-year-old just joined the team this offseason but was able to quickly establish himself as one of the leaders of this club.
He was the stabilizing force at the safety position and is heralded as one of the best tacklers in football. Now the Jets will have to hope Parks and Joyner can hold things down in his absence.
According to Pro Football Focus, he had the lowest grade of any defensive back in the entire league in Week 1. As The Jet Press pointed out on Twitter that was the worst mark of any member of the secondary including all corners and safeties.