The Jets were having enough problems on defense during their 0-2 start but
took another hit this week when they learned starting cornerback Donnie Abraham
will miss four to six weeks with a broken bone in his right shoulder.
Not only is Abraham the Jets' best cover man, but he was one of the few consistent players on defense since joining the team last season. The Jets are ranked ninth in the NFL against the pass.
Abraham sustained the injury while tackling Miami quarterback Jay Fiedler at the goal line during Fiedler's 9-yard bootleg run for a touchdown in the first quarter of Sunday's 21-10 loss.
Nickel back and eight-year veteran Ray Mickens will start in Abraham's place and third-year CB Jamie Henderson will also see more playing time. In addition, the Jets will try to work out several corners, including Andrew Davison and Troy Grant, who were both released at the end of training camp. Although Jets coach Herman Edwards thinks Davison may sign with Dallas. The Jets are also looking at a few veterans such as Terry Fair and Ike Charlton.
Mickens has been a starter before (22 games) and done very well in the Jets' nickel package but is coming off a terrible game against the Dolphins after replacing Abraham. He was burned by Chris Chambers for a 39-yard catch and was unable to contain Ricky Williams on an 18-yard run. Both miscues occurred on the same drive, one that resulted in a Dolphins touchdown.
The Jets' pass defense has been successful essentially because of an improved pass rush, but that was against Washington's Patrick Ramsey and Fiedler. The Jets face New England and Tom Brady this week and see Buffalo and Drew Bledsoe on Oct. 12. If Abraham takes longer than four weeks, he could be out for a dangerous stretch in which the Jets face quarterbacks David Carr (Houston), Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia), Kerry Collins (Giants) and Rich Gannon (Oakland).
--QB Chad Pennington (broken left wrist) is still wearing a hard
cast and will continue to do so for at least another week before starting rehab.
He isn't expected to return until at least the Nov. 9 game at
--CB Donnie Abraham (fractured bone in right shoulder) is expected to miss four to six weeks. Nickel back Ray Mickens will start in Abraham's place and CB Jamie Henderson will also see more playing time. Mickens has played well in a reserve role and has been a starter in the past, but Abraham was the Jets best cover man and the only one who hasn't struggled with the rest of the defense.
--CB Ray Mickens will start in place of the injured Donnie Abraham after playing as the Jets nickel back the last few seasons.
--CB Jamie Henderson will see an increase in playing time with Donnie Abraham out with a broken bone in his right shoulder. Henderson has been an excellent contributor on special teams and will eventually be a starting corner for the Jets, maybe as early as next season - or this season if the Jets' secondary has another injury.
--LB Mo Lewis will keep his job for now despite poor play in the first two games because coach Herman Edwards will stick with veteran players as long as possible. That might only be another game or two, though, as rookie LB Victor Hobson was drafted to be Lewis' successor and while still behind, is learning the position quickly.
--LB Victor Hobson is not an immediate candidate to step in for the struggling Mo Lewis at present according to coach Herman Edwards, but they may not have a choice. Lewis has played poorly but Edwards said Hobson is still behind the learning curve. Defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, however, said if Hobson keeps progressing, he'll get more playing time. The Jets planned on using Hobson - their second-round pick - on defense as well as special teams this season but Edwards said Hobson's progress was slowed by an injury in training camp.
--LB Jason Glenn is probably a more immediate candidate to start if LB Mo Lewis is benched. He will certainly be in the mix if Lewis and LB Marvin Jones continue to struggle.