So the benching of star pass rusher Muhammad Wilkerson, who sat out the first quarter of the team's 27-23 loss to the Miami Dolphins, must have been for a very good reason.
And it was, so long as you value birthday celebrations with the sanctity 12-year-olds know they deserve. According to a report from Mike Garafolo, Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, who was also benched for the opening quarter, have made a habit of blowing off or showing up late to meetings.
This included a walk-through that doubled as a birthday celebration in Wilkerson's honor—that he never showed up to.
Here's NFL.com's Michael Handzus:
… the Jets' star defensive lineman missed a walk-through before the team's Week 7 game against the Ravens as well as a planned gathering in a defensive meeting room to celebrate Wilkerson's 27th birthday.
"I'm told they even had a cake ready to go for him and he didn't show up," said Garafolo, in a quote that should be on the tombstone of this lost Jets season.
And it probably affected the outcome of the game. With head coach Todd Bowles keeping Wilkerson and Richardson out, the Dolphins scored on a six-play drive on their first possession. They scored again the next time they got the ball, with half of the drive coming in the opening stanza. Miami managed just 13 points the rest of the way.