FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets lost one of their top pass-rushers for the remainder of the season, placing outside linebacker Antwan Barnes on injured reserve Wednesday with a severe knee injury.
Barnes was injured in the fourth quarter of the Jets' 30-28 win Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons. Rushing the quarterback against left tackle Lamar Holmes, Barnes tried to change direction with an inside move, but his right knee buckled when he planted on the turf.
Used primarily as a pass-rushing specialist, Barnes has two sacks and a team-leading 12 quarterback hits. He played in 41 percent of the defensive snaps. He's a natural edge rusher, and the Jets have a short supply of those on the roster.
"That's a tough loss," coach Rex Ryan said. "You talk about underrated players. It wasn't just the production he had, it was the production he caused. ... We're going to miss him. It's hard to replace Antwan. He's a special guy, a special player."
To replace Barnes, the Jets re-signed outside linebacker Ricky Sapp, who was waived by the team Saturday.
The Jets signed Barnes, 28, in free agency, giving him a three-year, $4 million contract. They liked him because of his familiarity with Ryan's system, having played under Ryan when he was an assistant with the Baltimore Ravens in 2007 and '08.
Barnes had a career year for the San Diego Chargers in 2011, when he recorded 11 sacks.