Jets hurting at outside linebacker

September, 27, 2010
9/27/10
7:33
PM ET
The New York Jets have four outside linebackers on the roster, and three of them are dealing with injuries -- Jason Taylor (elbow), Calvin Pace (foot) and backup Jamaal Westerman, who sprained an ankle and tweaked a hamstring in Sunday night's 31-23 win over the Miami Dolphins.

Taylor, of course, played -- and recorded his second sack of the season. Pace, four weeks removed from foot surgery, may return to practice this week. Rex Ryan said he's hopeful that Pace will be able to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. He didn't sound optimistic about Westerman, a special teams player.

"He kind of has an ankle injury," Ryan said. "I don't want to say a high-ankle sprain, but there's definitely something there. I think he tweaked a hamstring and had an ankle, so he's beat up a little bit. Hopefully, if Calvin comes back, we'll give (Westerman) a week off. I think he's definitely questionable for this week, maybe doubtful."

If Pace doesn't return, they will use DE Vernon Gholston as the No. 3 OLB, behind Taylor and Bryan Thomas. Ryan said he's not planning to add a linebacker to the roster. So hold the Adalius Thomas rumors.

Other notes:

• Backup OT/TE Wayne Hunter (bruised shin) doesn't seem to be improving. He could miss his second straight game.

• RB Shonn Greene appeared hobbled late in the game, but it doesn't appear to be anything serious. Said Ryan: "I believe he's fine, and I'm basing that on the way he danced after the game. He looked OK to me."

Eric Smith credited teammate Brad Smith for his blocked punt. He said the Dolphins' tackle moved quickly to account for Smith, creating a lane for him to the punter. It was the second blocked punt of Smith's career.

• In the last two games, TE Dustin Keller has 13 catches for 213 yards and three touchdowns. He has emerged as Mark Sanchez' security blanket.

"I'd like to think so, but we have so many different weapons on the field that a lot of times it seems like he doesn't even need a security blanket," he said. "It seems like Braylon (Edwards) is open every time, Jerricho (Cotchery) is open every time..."

• Ryan on his meeting last Saturday with Tony Dungy, who was critical of the coach's profanity in the "Hard Knocks" TV show: "We had a great conversation ... I was happy that he came and took advantage (of the invitation). I wanted him to come in and be around our players, be around our coaches. I know he was impressed."

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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