INDIANAPOLIS -- Jordan Jenkins maintains his trademark patient approach, remaining poised and productive behind the scenes even when he was a healthy scratch for games against the Buffalo Bills and the Carolina Panthers.
When Jenkins learned he was going to be active and play a lot last Sunday against the New England Patriots, he capitalized on the opportunity. The Houston Texans' veteran defensive end recorded a season-high four tackles, one for a loss and his first quarterback hit of the season with a shot on rookie Mac Jones during a 25-22 loss at NRG Stadium.
“It’s a mindset I developed back in my third year with the Jets,” Jenkins said. “I just said, ‘I’m not going to waste the energy and waste the time worrying about things that are outside of my control. I just kept my head down and just did what I’m supposed to do.
“You never get too high, you never get too low, and you don’t let outside circumstances change who you are and change your core. You just go out there and do what you’re supposed to do and just stay the same man you were.”
Signed to a two-year, $6 million contract this offseason with a maximum value of $8 million, Jenkins has played in three games this season and has six tackles with zero sacks.
When Jenkins got the word from defensive line coach Bobby King last week that he was going to be up, he embraced the moment as he replaced Charles Omenihu in the defensive line rotation.
“I knew I had to go out there and take advantage of every play I got and every opportunity that was presented to me, and just show the way I play out there,” Jenkins said. “I just want to be hungry out there and just try and be as disruptive as I can be.”
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Jenkins played last season under a one-year, $3.75 million contract that included $3.25 million guaranteed and a $1.75 million signing bonus. He had 32 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble last season after recording a career-high eight sacks two seasons ago.
“I love proving people wrong and I love just going out there and trying to make a statement for my case,” said Jenkins, a former New York Jets third-round draft pick from Georgia. “I just want to be remembered in this game as somebody who’s disruptive and someone who took no (crap) from nobody, and just went out there and tried to dominate every player who’s out there.
“A lot of guys have that same mentality, so when a situation like that presents itself, you sort of already are trained to operate that way. It just helps everybody else out, knowing that everyone is keeping with each other. Everyone is working that you can’t really slack off, but it makes you better as a player going through all those situations.”
Jenkins’ family lives in Richmond. He has a large cheering section at home games.
“It’s definitely big for me,” he said. “I finally got the first taste of it back in Week 1 when I had about maybe 25, 26 family members out here. For the first time, it was a good experience feeling all the family out, being able to make it to a game and not having it be a struggle, and then being able to hang around with them. Seeing them during the game, after the game, I went up in the stands and spent some time with them. It’s a big thing for me, playing down here.”
Now entering Week 6, Jenkins will have the opportunity to continue to prove doubters wrong as the Texans head to the Indianapolis Colts.