Laveranues Coles’ return to the Jets was short, James Ihedigbo might be out for a while and Nick Folk isn’t going anywhere. That was the news Rex Ryan delivered today to the media as the Jets began to move forward following their 45-3 loss to the Patriots Monday night in Foxboro, Mass.
Coles, who was released this summer after attempting a Green & White comeback, officially signed a contract on Saturday and traveled with the team to New England. He was inactive for the Jets’ divisional clash and Ihedigbo’s health status means it’s only a matter of time before he’ll be released.
“We lost a Jet [S Jim Leonhard] and I wanted to bring a Jet in at that time,” said Ryan of the weekend addition of the 32-year-old Coles. “I would have liked to have had LC here. But now we’re going to have to let him go because of the fact our safety situation is the way it is. The uncertainty of Dig being out, we’ll probably have to bring a safety in.”
After losing Leonhard in Friday’s practice to a season-ending fractured tibia, the Jets’ safety numbers continued to diminish in Week 13 because the hard-hitting Ihedigbo injured both his MCL and ankle on a long Patriots pass play midway through the third quarter.
”Obviously you don’t feel real good about it, but I don’t know the extent [of the injury] right now,” said Ryan as Ihedigbo was to get an MRI to determine his condition.
The 6’1”, 214-pound Ihedigbo has racked up three sacks this season and he is one of Mike Westhoff’s most valuable performers. His 22 special-teams stops rank second on the club and he paced the Jets with 26 ST tackles in 2009.
Folk, who badly mis-hit a 53-yard field goal in the opening quarter against the Pats, will remain the Jets’ kicker heading into Week 14. Folk has now converted on 72 percent of his field goal attempts (23 of 32) this season but has hit on just seven of his past 13 overall.
“You always get the spot where you feel comfortable that he can make the kick. He never missed a kick in warmups,” said Ryan, who also called Folk “our guy.” Folk actually nailed a 58-yarder into that same end in pregame.
“Was that a long field goal? Absolutely. We did think we had the wind at our back. You know, he just mis-hit it. We’re obviously not going to attempt a kick we don’t think we’re going a make.”
The 9-3 Jets have a short week to get the Patriots loss behind them as they’re still very much in the race for a division title and they’re also on the inside track for a playoff berth.
“Everything we talked about is still attainable. We have a quarter of our season left. So we’re far from pressing the panic button,” said Ryan. “Did we play terrible? Absolutely. Was it the worst performance I’ve ever been around? Yup, sure was. You have to give the opponents credit. They went out and earned it. They did everything right — everything.”
The 6-6 Dolphins will be in town Sunday as the Jets look to sweep their division rivals and move to 4-1 in the AFCE.
“They’re coming in here with slim playoff chances. They’ve got to beat us,” Ryan said. “It’s as simple as that. Right now we’re three games up on them with a win over them. You guys know better than I do — I’m not good in playoff scenarios. But I know one thing: We’re going to get their best shot.”
The Jets are now 1-3 against teams with over-.500 records and they’re 8-0 against clubs either at .500, such as Miami, or below.
“As long as I’ve been in the league, they always say you win the games you’re supposed to win and you split with the really good teams. That generally will get you — it’s a formula — to win 12 games. That’s always been a formula,” said Ryan.
The Jets still have a shot at 12 or even 13 wins, but they have to get to No. 10 first against the Dolphins.
Tags: James Ihedigbo, Laveranues Coles, New England Patriots, Nick Folk, Rex Ryan
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