|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets suffered their first significant injury of the season, losing backup center Rob Turner for at least two months with a broken right leg.
Turner, who started Monday night's preseason game because of an injury to Nick Mangold, will have surgery later in the week. At that time, the team will have a better idea of his recovery time, but it appears to be an eight to 10-week injury, a league source said.Coach Rex Ryan also said Wednesday that running back Joe McKnight has a concussion. Meanwhile, wide receiver Plaxico Burress practiced after resting his sprained left ankle since Friday. Linebacker Bart Scott (lower leg) did not practice, and will be monitored during the week. Center Nick Mangold (stinger) could play Sunday against Cincinnati, while guard Brandon Moore (hip) is doubtful. Both participated in some team drills Wednesday. Defensive lineman Sione Pouha did not practice with a knee injury. Ryan was uncertain of the nature of the injury. "I don't know what they call it, something on his knee," Ryan said. "But we put a brace on it and he was out there in pads, but he wasn't doing anything."
Turner isn't a household name, but he's one of the most important backups on the team because of his versatility. He can play center, guard, tight end in the "jumbo" package and wedge blocker on kickoff returns. In fact, there were games last season when Turner played three ways -- offense, defense and special teams. He lined up as a lineman in the goal-line defense.
The Jets almost certainly will try to sign an experienced center in the coming days. The only backup behind Mangold is Robby Felix, who spent last season on the practice squad and has no NFL experience. The most recognizable name on the free agent market is Shaun O'Hara, cut recently by the Giants.
Suddenly, the Jets' line depth is highly suspect. With Turner down, the only backup with NFL experience is second-year lineman Vladimir Ducasse, who allowed two sacks Monday night in the 20-16 loss to the Houston Texans.
Ducasse's first sack led to Turner's injury. Ducasse, who started at right guard for Moore (hip), was pushed backward by rookie defensive end J.J. Watt. After beating Ducasse, Watt swooped in to tackle Mark Sanchez, crashing into Turner's right leg. Basically, Turner was an innocent bystander.
Turner was carted off the field. On Tuesday, an MRI exam confirmed the fracture, first reported by the New York Daily News.
Ducasse, a former second-round pick, has struggled in camp, but he hasn't had a chance to settle into one position. He started out at right tackle, but was moved to right guard because Moore started camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list. He played both spots on Monday night, along with left guard.
It was a rough debut for the offensive line, which surrendered seven sacks. Ryan was upset, calling it "ridiculous. ... To say I'm disappointed with that, I think is an understatement."
Ryan probably overreacted, considering they were down two starters. The first-team offense allowed two sacks, the first of which came on a blown protection call. Things should settle down this week, with Mangold and Moore expected to return.
"I think we'll feel better when Brandon and Mangold get back out there," Ryan said after the game.
The Jets' depth isn't what it used to be. A year ago, they had two dependable backups, Turner and Wayne Hunter, who was promoted to starting right tackle when Damien Woody was released in February.Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.