Friday Notebook: Abe's injury could hurt the CB's

The Jets will be without their best defensive player this week, end John Abraham (knee-out).

He has an LCL sprain in his right knee, and it's unclear when he will be back.

"It's not the kind of injury that you can really tell," said Abraham. "There isn't a lot of background on this type of injury. With an ACL or MCL they know what is going on with it. It really doesn't happen that much. When I say LCL, nine out of ten people don't know what I'm talking about. People know the ACL and MCL, but they don't know the LCL. It's not an injury that happens that much, so they don't know that much about it."

Abraham will be replaced in the starting lineup by Bryan Thomas, the Jets 2002 first round pick. There will be no dropoff in run defense, but the Jets will miss Abraham as a pass rusher. Thus far, Thomas hasn't shown much as a pass rusher, and Abraham is one of the best in football. Rookie Trevor Johnson will also be in the mix. He might be a better pass rusher than Thomas.

LB Victor Hobson (ankle-questionable) practiced on Wednesday and Thursday, but it's still unclear whether he will play. Hobson is able to run straight with no problem, but cutting is still an issue. The Jets don't need to rush Hobson back because Mark Brown has done such a fine job filling in for him.

S Oliver Celestin has practiced this week with his sprained ankle, but it's unclear whether he will play. Celestin is mainly a special teams player. A good sign for Celestin is that he was taken off the injury report on Friday after being listed a probable most of the week.

WR Jericho Cotchery (hamstring-probable) has missed the last two games with a pulled hamstring, and it's unclear whether he will return this week. His role is mainly on special teams and occasionally as the team's fourth receiver. With Cotchery out, Jonathan Carter has received all the reps as the team's fourth wideout.

LB Jason Glenn (arm-probable), who has missed the last six weeks with a broken arm, told us he will return this week. This should help the Jets kick and punt coverage units that have struggled in his absence.

Be wary of assuming that players listed as "probable" by the Jets will play because they often don't . . .

Jets practice squad center Drew Caylor was a 2004 sixth round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was in training camp with them, and then was assigned to their practice squad. Early this season, the Jets signed him off the Steeler practice squad. We caught up with Caylor this week to get a scouting report on the front seven of his former team, a unit he faced in practice quite a bit.

"The D-Line doesn't have outstanding stats. There main purpose is to take up space so the offensive linemen don't get up to the linebackers. Because they have several very talented linebackers and that is the strength of their defense. But [the defensive linemen] are big strong husky guys. (Defensive end) Aaron Smith is big and strong and (defensive end) Kimo Van Oelhoffen is one of the strongest guys in the league. He just tosses guys around. They are just role players. They not out there making plays all the time or having huge stats.

"At nose tackle, the difference between Chris Hoke and (injured) Casey Hampton is about 60 pounds. Hoke is about 290 and Hampton is about 340. "Hamp" was just a big piece of meat to move. Hampton is kind of like Sam Adams – a big guy, but quick at the point of attack. If I'm a center I'd rather go against Hoke than 'Hamp.'"

"Hoke was a pain in the ass when I was there. He is a tough guy to block. He's not extremely fast, he's not extremely strong, but he works really hard. Just a blue collar guy who uses his hands real well. He is good at keeping your hands off him.

"The 3-4 is more difficult to block. It creates a lot more difficult angles for the offensive line. You have linebackers running from depth, so they can evade offensive linemen a little bit better. It can create headaches for an offensive line is they aren't used to blocking it all the time.

"James Farrior is a playmaker. It seems like he is in on just about every play. Joey Porter will cause headaches for any offensive tackle in the league. He is really strong. I think his arms are thicker than his legs. Clark Haggans isn't quite as strong as Porter, but he is quick. He is very fast off the edge. He really gets tackles moving backwards fast, and then he will change it up and try to come underneath." . . .

One reason defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson has been so effective this season is his conditioning. This off-season, under the watchful eye of Jets strength coach John Lott, Robertson lost 20 pounds, going from the about 335 pounds to 315. He is a great shape, and hardly ever has to come off the field.

"He can go all day," said Jets coach Herman Edwards . . .

Jets nickel back Derrick Strait's foot has been 100 percent for a few week now, but he hasn't had much of a role on defense. His month on the sideline hurt his learning curve. So now the Jets are going with Donnie Abraham in the slot on passing situations, and Terrell Buckley handles Abraham's cornerback slot. This has been working okay, but eventually it could be a problem. With Abraham, Buckley and David Barrett at cornerback, the Jets don't have great speed at the position. The great pass rush has helped them over the last month, but if the team doesn't get great pressure, they could be exposed against a top-shelf passing attack. And with their best pass rusher, John Abraham likely out three weeks, the pass rush could fall of a little bit, and hurt the cornerbacks.

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