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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Jets' Stephen Hill placed on IR

By Rich Cimini
ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill, whose rookie season began with a sensational, two-touchdown performance, was placed on injured reserve with a sprained knee on Wednesday.

Hill injured his lateral collateral ligament on Dec. 9 in a win at the Jacksonville Jaguars. He avoided surgery and had hoped to return this season, but there was no point in pushing it with the Jets now eliminated from playoff contention.

Hill finished an up-and-down season with 21 catches for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Hill struggled with his hands, dropping four balls on only 47 targets, according to ESPN Stats & Information. His biggest drop came in a Week 7 loss to the New England Patriots, costing the Jets a chance to win the game.

The Jets were so enamored with Hill that they traded up to pick him in the second round, not concerned with his limited production at Georgia Tech, where he had just 49 career receptions.

The Jets handed him a starting job, but he struggled after a five-catch, 84-yard debut against the Buffalo Bills. He was held without a catch in five-of-11 games.

Hill is the second Jets starting wide receiver to be placed on injured reserve. Santonio Holmes suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 4 and was put on IR.

To fill Hill's roster spot, the Jets signed defensive back Donnie Fletcher from their practice squad.