NFL: Week 6

The hits keep coming for Jets

Jenkins out for year; Ryan backs Sanchez

Associated Press / October 20, 2009

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Rex Ryan has to adjust to life without Kris Jenkins anchoring his defensive line.

The New York Jets nose tackle was placed on season-ending injured reserve yesterday with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

“That’s hard,’’ Ryan said. “It’s going to be hard to replace Kris. There’s not many Kris Jenkins playing in this league. Obviously, his impact is going to be felt.’’

The four-time Pro Bowl selection was injured while making a tackle in the second quarter of the Jets’ 16-13 overtime loss to Buffalo Sunday, the team’s third straight defeat after beginning the season 3-0.

“My feelings are hurt that I won’t be able to be out there fighting with my teammates this year,’’ said Jenkins, who was on crutches and had his leg heavily wrapped.

Ryan said the team would re-sign defensive tackle Howard Green to help replace Jenkins, as will holdovers Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito.

Ryan also announced he is sticking with Mark Sanchez at quarterback despite the rookie’s five interceptions in the loss to the Bills.

Sanchez has mostly struggled since beating out Kellen Clemens for the job. He’s tied with Carolina’s Jake Delhomme for the league lead in interceptions with 10, and his 56.7 quarterback rating is higher than only Oakland’s JaMarcus Russell and Cleveland’s Derek Anderson.

“I just think we’ve got to do a great job at looking at what we’re asking this young man to do,’’ Ryan said. “Do we need to cut things back? Are there things that we could do to put on somebody else’s plate to take some things off his plate? I have a lot of confidence in Mark.’’

Zorn: Mostly in charge
With a pained expression, Redskins coach Jim Zorn announced that the front office “strongly suggested’’ that he yield his play-calling duties to Sherm Lewis, a consultant hired only two weeks ago. While he didn’t say he was given an ultimatum, Zorn said he would comply with the request “because I want to stay here and win.’’

“Sometimes we have to do things that are uncomfortable,’’ Zorn said.

Zorn received the news in a meeting with front office chief Vinny Cerrato at the stadium following Sunday’s 14-6 loss to the previously winless Chiefs. The Redskins (2-4) are averaging 13.2 points and have failed to score a touchdown in two of their home games.

“The reason I can comply with this is simply because of the lack of scoring,’’ Zorn said. “I want to win, too. If this has to be done this week, if this is going to be the key, I’m certainly willing to give it a try.’’

Several players were taken aback by the notion of trusting such a vital role to someone not yet thoroughly familiar with the roster.

“I don’t think it’s an ideal situation,’’ quarterback Todd Collins said. “Generally you have some play callers work with a quarterback for years and years.’’

Lewis will call plays from the upstairs coaching box, starting with Monday night’s game against the Eagles. Zorn said he’ll retain control over big decisions but that he won’t veto Lewis’s play calls. “I wouldn’t do that to Sherm,’’ Zorn said.

Tatupu may return
Lofa Tatupu may not be out for the season after all. Seahawks coach Jim Mora said further tests on the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker’s chest muscle indicated a partial tear rather than a complete one. If results from the magnetic resonance imaging exam are accurate, Tatupu could be back after a few weeks of rehabilitation . . . Defensive end Antwan Odom, who is second in the NFL with eight sacks, will miss the rest of the season because of a torn Achilles’ tendon, costing the Bengals their top pass rusher. He got hurt during the first quarter of a 28-17 loss to Houston Sunday that dropped Cincinnati to 4-2 . . . Bills quarterback Trent Edwards requires further evaluation after sustaining his second concussion this season. If Edwards can’t play Sunday at Carolina, Ryan Fitzpatrick would take over after going 10 of 25 for 116 yards and a touchdown in rallying Buffalo (2-4) past the Jets . . . Falcons cornerback Brian Williams will miss the rest of the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Sunday night’s win over the Bears . . . Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin has a sprained right ankle and his status is uncertain for Sunday night’s game at the Giants . . . Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis has a broken index finger on his left hand and might need surgery to repair ligament damage . . . The 49ers placed veteran linebacker Jeff Ulbrich on injured reserve, ending his season. He sustained a concussion against St. Louis Oct. 4 and was examined by a neurologist last week . . . Ravens defensive back Samari Rolle almost certainly won’t play this season, and it’s likely his career is over because of a nagging neck injury.

Wesley suspended for hit
The NFL suspended Panthers defensive back Dante Wesley one game without pay for launching himself into defenseless Tampa Bay punt returner Clifton Smith. Wesley left his feet and hit Smith in the neck and head with his forearm and shoulder as Smith waited to field a punt Sunday. Smith sustained a concussion . . . The Panthers added depth at their weakest position, sending a 2010 fifth-round draft pick to the Chiefs for defensive tackle Tank Tyler a day before the trade deadline . . . Steelers kicker Jeff Reed has been cited for public intoxication and disorderly conduct outside a bar a couple of blocks from where the team beat the Browns a few hours earlier. This is Reed’s second brush with the law this year. He paid $543 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct for damaging a paper towel dispenser in a store bathroom in February.

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