Stephen Hill has sprained right knee

Updated: December 10, 2012, 8:21 PM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- An MRI revealed that New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill has a sprained right LCL. The Jets did not have a timeline for his return, but said he is day to day.

He will not need surgery, a source said.

MRI results also revealed that linebacker Bryan Thomas has a strained pectoral muscle. He is also day to day.

The Jets (6-7) have three games remaining and are one game back in the race for an AFC wild-card berth.

Hill sprained his knee in the second quarter of a 17-10 road win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 6-foot-4 rookie hurt the same knee against Arizona the week before and possibly sustained cartilage damage then, a source told ESPN.

The Jets did not specify the grade of Hill's sprain, meaning it could take anywhere up to six weeks for Hill to fully recover.

Hill is almost as well-known for drops as catches -- a drop late in the Patriots game Oct. 21 that likely would have been a touchdown precipitated a 29-26 overtime loss -- but the rookie has 21 catches this season for 252 yards and three touchdowns.

Hill's sprained knee further depletes a receivers group that has been affected by a number of injuries already. Tight end Dustin Keller has missed six games between his current ankle injury and a quad injury at the start of the season. Receiver Clyde Gates has missed two weeks with a concussion.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said he hopes to get both Keller and Gates this week. There has even been talk that the team could bring back Braylon Edwards, who was recently waived by the Seattle Seahawks.

New York already has played most of the season without top wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who saw his season end with a Lisfranc injury suffered Sep. 30 against the San Francisco 49ers. Holmes will need additional surgery on his injured left foot in February.

ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini contributed to this report.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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