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Woody (Achilles’) Goes to IR, Hunter Steps Up

Posted by Randy Lange on January 12, 2011 – 2:19 pm

The positive emotion of defeating Indianapolis and the determined optimism of preparing for New England dimmed just a bit today when head coach Rex Ryan told reporters that 12th-year right tackle Damien Woody has been placed on injured reserve with a left Achilles’ tendon injury.

“It’s really unfortunate,” Ryan said at his Wednesday news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, now under way. “He played almost the whole game [at Indianapolis]. I mentioned Monday that he was a little wobbly after the game. There was a reason. It wasn’t his knee. It was his Achilles’ tendon, so he’ll be placed on IR today.”

Woody did not practice Tuesday and was not seen around the complex today. Ryan said he thinks Woody will be having surgery on the Achilles’ later this afternoon.

This will be the second time in two months that the Jets have lost a starter in the week before playing the Patriots on the road. The first time, safety Jim Leonhard broke his leg midway through the Friday practice before the teams met on Monday night, Dec. 6. At least this time the Jets have some advance notice on losing Woody and have worked Wayne Hunter into the equation in the past month.

“More than I can put into words,” Hunter said about how much playing against the Steelers, Bears and Bills the last three weeks of the regular season have helped him for this playoff assignment. “I went against some great defenses, which helped my confidence, and I found my rhythm.”

Among those who’ve appreciated Hunter’s play is the fellow in the No. 6 jersey whose open side Hunter will try to protect at all costs Sunday.

“When he’s gotten his opportunities, he’s taken over and he hasn’t missed a beat,” QB Mark Sanchez said. “I’m really proud of the way he’s played. He’s into it, he’s excited, he smiles, he’s having fun, he’s a tough competitor. I’m fired up for him, I couldn’t be happier for him. And then to see Woody out, it kills you so it’s a bittersweet feeling. They’re both great players and tough competitors, so I feel safe either way.”

Woody played almost the entire AFC Wild Card Game in Indianapolis on Saturday night. He was on the field for the first play of the final drive of the game, the 9-yard pass from Mark Sanchez to Braylon Edwards. Woody jogged behind the play and appeared OK. But the replay official called for a review of the play, and after the few minutes it took for referee Gene Steratore to complete his review, Wayne Hunter came in at RT for the last three plays of that drive before Nick Folk’s game-winning field goal.

“I didn’t know it was Wayne’s Achilles’ until the next day,” Hunter said. “My whole focus was to back him up at tackle in case his knee went out. When I went in after that one play, I just assumed it was his knee, maybe his brace, which had been slipping on him during the game.”

Hunter will again line up next to right guard Brandon Moore, and Moore today agreed that it was “a blessing in disguise” that the two got to work together for a half-season of practices and all or part of five games.

“It’s sad news about Woody, but I feel comfortable with Wayne there,” Moore said. “I can go into this game confident in what he does, confident in myself and confident in the game plan.”

Moore has his own injury issue this week after he tweaked his back while in the weightroom. He didn’t practice during team drills today, and that might sound alarm bells for Jets fans who know that the right side of the Jets line will often have to try to neutralize perennial Pro Bowl 3-4 DE Vince Wilfork. But Ryan and Moore both said not to worry.

“It happened yesterday, it got a little worse as the day went on, and then this morning it was pretty tight,” Moore said. But he added that this has happened a few times already this season and that the back has always loosened up as the week has gone on. “I should feel a lot better tomorrow. … It’s a non-issue, really.”

Elsewhere on the Injury Front

Brad Smith is the other frontline player with an injury concern. He pulled a groin muscle while rushing Colts punter Pat McAfee in the first quarter. Smith also did not practice today.

“We expect Brad to play,” Ryan said. “If he doesn’t play, obviously you’re not going to have the Wildcat. He is such a threat back there in that role.” Ryan also said if Smith is available and “100 percent,” he’ll be the main kickoff returner rather than Antonio Cromartie.

Smith stopped by his locker with his usual smile and positive outlook, saying that this pull is just a little bit of adversity that has to be gotten over.

“I’ll take everything in stride,” he said, “and try to make the most of it.”

The Jets also listed WR Patrick Turner, who is being elevated to the active roster from the practice squad to fill Woody’s roster spot, as DNP with an illness; CB Darrelle Revis, WR Santonio Holmes and S James Ihedigbo as limited at practice, and seven others as practicing full. The Jets’ complete injury list can be found here.

The Patriots list nine players on their report, with DE Myron Pryor (back) not practicing and six — LB Tully Banta-Cain (groin), WR Deion Branch (knee), DE Jermaine Cunningham (calf), TE Aaron Hernandez (hip), DE Eric Moore (Hamstring) and T Sebastian Vollmer (shin) — as limited.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 37 Comments »

37 Responses to “Woody (Achilles’) Goes to IR, Hunter Steps Up”

  1. By IRA on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    This is a tough hit but i think Hunter can get the job done. He played very well in Pitt and Chi and in both games the O scored. You know BB is going to come up wit some type of blitz packages to try to exploit Hunter. I feel he is up to the task.
    Wish Woody a speedy recovery.

  2. By Tom Spicer on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    This is a big loss for the Jets Woody is a great run blocker but Hunter I think will step in & do a great job. I also read that Brad Smith is so banged up that even if he plays he will noly return kickoffs. So there will be no wildcat plays this week at all.

  3. By jetsjunkie on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry Woody.As a former OT.I admired your work.God’s speed i n your recovery.Or coaching.On a diferent note.Is there anyway to get Derek Jeter to the game?I would love to see some Yankee support!

  4. By IRA on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Who knows but my bet is that Mizzou will play this week in certain situations and Cro will return KO’s. I have no problem with that as long as he protects the ball. We saw vs the Cots he can make big plays. He avg over 40 yds per return on those 2 plays. Lets just hope the Pats aren’t KO very much.

  5. By davetharave on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    I’d rather see Joe McKnight (if he’s active) run back the kickoffs over Smith or Cromartie, he’s a runner that’s his job. Save Brad for the Seminole packages. Cro did do an excellent job on KOs in Indy. OK it’s true, I’m looking for some way to get McKnight in there, fresh legs and all, could be an ‘X’ factor in this game.

  6. By IRA on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Randy, ESPN is reporting that Turner will be the RT for the rest of the year. Is it Turner or Hunter?

  7. By Randy Lange on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, I don’t know where that came from. Wayne Hunter is now the Jets’ RT. Rob Turner remains the backup G, C and jumbo TE.

  8. By IRA on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    randy, Thanks i didn’t think that report was right especially the way Hunter had played in Woody’s place the past few games. In matter of fact i wouldn’t be surprised if Hunter gets a shot at that starting RT job next year.

  9. By scjoe on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    There is no drop off with Cro returning kicks, there is only a slight drop off with Hunter stepping in at RT. I don’t think either will have that much bearing on the out come of the game.

  10. By scjoe on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Westcoast, maybe I over reacted, that is because I have been a Jet fan since they entered the league as the NY Titans in 1960. But when you say I am always negative that can’t be further from the truth. I am a Rex fan and I have always stated that. Is he BB at this point of his career? No. is that being negative or is that being honest? As for MS, The negatives have outweighed the positives ten fold. Is that being negative or is that being honest? Am I the only one who thinks that is the case? I don’t think so. There have been a few really good games here and there and I did acknowledge them, but you watched this last game just as I did, what did you see that I may have missed that initiated your last post?

  11. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    This is a bad break for us and especially for Woody. It’s a terrible thing to see a starter play all year and then get hurt in the post-season. For those fans that Goodell claims want an 18-game season (I haven’t met one yet), expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing, a second wave of players having to start as the regular starters get hurt. Goodell’s thing about the total number of games being the same is the biggest lie because there’s no comparison between, say, last week’s game with any of the 4 exhib games when it comes to intensity, physical play, and even just plain number of snaps.

  12. By 10and6jets on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Is there any chance a healthy Wayne Hunter will be more valuable at RT for the playoffs then a hobbled Woody? He is definitely more athletic then Damian.

  13. By davetharave on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Thought I heard that Vlad was being groomed as Woody’s eventual successor, with tackle being his more ‘natural’ position ?
    OK, I’ll keep saying this . . would love to see our defense get very physical with Pats small receivers. Hit them HARD coming off the line. Do everything within the legal 5 yards to disrupt the timing of the passing game. Have a linebacker harass those tight ends on every play. And finally, lets give Welker his own cot on Revis island and let him sit this one out. Brady’s favorite target deserves nothing less.

  14. By Performing on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Look for a wrinkle Sunday with LT passing the ball.
    Lifetime he is 8-12 with 7 TDs (incredible) and barring
    awful Foxboro weather conditions, look for him to toss one to Edwards
    high and far.

    BB is the master of exploiting player’s weaknesses especially the 2nd time around after evaluating their tendencies. Now may be the right time to activate Jeff Cumberland and put him out there in passing situations. BB probably is not too familiar with him except for a “cup of coffee” in Bills game.

    Cro won’t break KOs for TDs like Smith. But the way he eats up real estate with his strides and speed might get us in better field position over the course of the game.

  15. By IRA on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    There is no dropoff at all with Hunter when it comes to the running game. He might have even been an upgrade since they ran the ball so well vs Chi and Pitt. In pass protection well that i would be worried about. He did great vs Pitt and their blitzes but BB will look to exploit him and this will be a big test for him. And i think he can handle it. I am sure Hartstock or Keller will lineup or shift to Hunter’s side to help him.
    Jets 24- Pats 20
    GO JETS!!!!!

  16. By Rick P on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    OK Jet family…. I just did the research that and found the blueprint for winning this game. The only game the Pats lost since the Moss trade was against CLE. CLE dominated time of possession with their power run game on offense, and they stopped the run and made a few plays defensively without giving up big plays… No team has shut down their passing game since the trade so we only can expect to contain them and cause turnovers in the process. ” THE THEME FOR THIS WEEKS GAME IS RUN JETS RUN”.. LETS GO SHOTTY, make a statement!!!

  17. By Tom Spicer on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    SCJOE, “There have been a few really good games here and there and I did acknowledge them” Please tell me 1 good thing you have said about Mark in 2 years? Because I would LOVE to hear it.

  18. By Tom Spicer on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    SCJOE, ” The negatives have outweighed the positives ten fold” really? Please tell me what these negatives are that outway his positives. 1 3 playoff wins on the road vs Palmer, Rivers & Peyton. 2 More playoff wins than any Jet QB ever. 3 Good person did you read that he offered to pay for Aidan’s funeral? 4 Passed for more yards in 15 games this year at 23 years old than Chad did in 9 years as a Jet. 5 5 4th quarter comeback wins 6 23 wins in 2 years 7 He had 5 more TD’S this year over last year & 844 more yards 8 he had 9 less turnovers this year than last year 9 Only 1 time in 9 years did Chad have more TD’S than Mark this year 10 Do you wan me to keep going? You are clearly biased against him.

  19. By russ on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Is Sanchez as good as Brady? Can defense stop slant patterns of small receivers? Will defense pressure Brady/? And most important can we get 6 & 7 yards on first down play to put pressure on THEIR defense?

  20. By scjoe on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Spicer, the negatives that I was referring to was all of those games similar to, or worse then he had this past week at Indy. You know, like the one he had last year vs NO, or the one vs Buffalo, or the one vs NE, and this year the one vs GB, the one vs Balt. That is only scratching the surface spicer, because there have been a lot more. Should I go on, or do you get the point? How about being rated the #30 starting QB in the league? How about his 2 year completion percentage? How about his TD to INT ratio for 2 years? That said, has the team won it’s share of games anyway? Yes. Has he been directly responsible for “most” of those wins? NO! Those are much more then stats spicer, they are facts. Are you denying them?

  21. By scjoe on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Spicer, Yes, I did read about his relationship with the little boy who had passed. That was a wonderful thing that he did. I am a very humane person spicer, I don’t normally question ones morals or his humanity or humility in the real world, whether it is good or bad. I am talking about ones play on a football field Period! Really, what does one have to do with the other? Further, if you do happen to read all my posts here you would have read the times I did acknowledge the good games he has had, why wouldn’t I? You can’t just take certain things I say out of context (all the time) and run with them.

  22. By troy(nyjetsholdupsbtrophyin2010 on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    i said it last week that I thought Hunter Should have kept the starting RG position, Woody was and Slauson were very shaky in the 1st half at Indy ,my opinion is were better with Hunter in Pass protection ,about even in run blocking …B Smith if hurt or very limited is the huge blow here,especially if Mark is struggling he brings that whole other dynamic for the opposing D’s to worry about. If we can stop thier run ,we can limit thier passing success ,we must tackle like we did at Indy ,Eric Smith being back was very big for us he’s a tackling machine Kerry Rhodes never was ,and Pool played his best game as a jet as well, maybe they are finally settling in ,

  23. By Tom Spicer on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    I am not denting anything when he has a bad game I am the first one to say he stinks. After 1 loss I said he could not hit water if he threw a rock out of a boat. You said that you say when he has a good game & you CLEARLY DONT. Congrats you named games where a rookie QB struggled WOW thats hard to do. I can post the rookie & sophmore numbers QBS for MANY qbs & they all will be bad. It all goes back to the fact that you dont get that rookie & sophmore QB’S dont tear up the league it has been proven time & time again. td to INT ratio Mark has 35 total TD’S to 33 picks in his 2 years please show me 1 QB in his first 2 years that is significanly better than that sorry YOU CANT! completion percentage show me 1 2 year QB that is significantly

  24. By Tom Spicer on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    better than him. When the Jets win its amazing that to you its in spite of Mark but when they lose its all his fault. I am not the only one who sees it you can read this blog & it is clear as day. Why do you think westcoast jet said something because it is painfully obvious thast you are biased against him.

  25. By Tom Spicer on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    I have already proved that QB rating is a stat that does not take everytihng into account & therefore is flawed & I will prove it again. Mike Vick has 9 rushing TD’S qb rating does not count rushing TD’S tell mike Vick that his 9 TD’S dont count or better yet tell the teams he got them against that they dont count. Cutler has 6 fumbles lost which also dont count dont YOU think the fact that he lost 6 fumbles should count against him? I know for a fact if Mark lost 6 fumbles you would be talking about how he cant hold on to the ball. He is the 27 ranked QB according to qb rating not the 30th & hear are a few guys that are ahead of him Henne 10 more yards in 1 less game, more picks, more fumbles lost & less TD’S. McNabb less TD’S, more pick

  26. By Tom Spicer on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    s & more fumbles, Shaun Hill & Alex Smith both less yards, less TD’S & more picks your QB rating is a joke.

  27. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    There were the Lincoln-Douglas debates, there was Kennedy-Nixon, and now we have scjoe-spicer on Sanchez. I think it’s fair to say that both guys are right: Sanchez has done great things and shown tremendous promise at times. He’s also repeatedly made mistakes that he should be leaving behind by now and has probably cost us a few games, if not as many as he’s won. My concern is mostly that we the fans and the New York press don’t start idolizing him before he proves he’s really worth a #5 pick. If he hasn’t proved that conclusively by next year, I don’t know how you don’t at least consider changing directions. I don’t want the entire Mangold/Brick/SG/SH/BE/DR/Harris/Cro era hampered by an underperforming QB, we just can’t afford that.

  28. By Tom Spicer on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    QB rating? Cutler has less yards than Mark & Mark played 1 less game. Cutler has 3 more TD’S but 6 more turn overs. Why is Cutler ranked 11 spots higher than him cause he has a 60% completion percentage compared to Marks 54% REALLY. I didnt know that completion percentage was the most important thing for a QB. I was under the impession that mabye wins, yards, td’s & having the least amount of picks would mean more GUESS NOT!

  29. By danny on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    I totally agree with Tom Spicer. Do some research before you blast the young kid who obviously with some help as turned this organization around with his knack for winning games instead of folding under the big stage. John Elway one of the NFL all time great qb’s didn’t eclipse over a 60% completion percentage until his eleventh season in the league. Just one example, but the point is you can expect him to put up tom brady #’s this early in his stage of his career. On the other hand, we can all be humbled that your organization drafted someone whom as a great work ethic and the competitveness to get better. AC in my mind is the key to this game, defensively.

  30. By danny on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    AC, does not match up well against the pats recievers because he is tall and tends to play high. The pats recievers are all small and shifty whom break a lot of tackles in open space against high tacklers.this my biggest concern. I’d rush 4 most of the time with pace and taylor on the edges and have devito, pouha. and ellis rotate on the line which is going to be critical for your success, but i have confidence in them. I would match up cromatie probably on tate or hernandez and have him come on somes blitzes hes got such a nice stride he should get to the QB in a hurry. We’ll see. I can’t wait for this game. in the first half, i’d hold folk’s range to 30 and under. No turnovers plz…….

  31. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    I will say this about QB rating, Spicer, it’s very much a holdover from the early merger yrs and reflects the pre-merger, old NFL-mindset that dumping the ball off for high-percentage passes is EVERYTHING! The rating is way too skewed toward this and doesn’t take into account throwing in difficult situations, when trailing, in tight coverage situations, and more. One of its most meaningful stats is yds per attempt, which used to be emphasized much more back in the pre-West Coast offense days, and it’s true that Sanchez has yet to rate highly in that area. But the way some QB stack up under the current rating system is clearly ridiculous, as you point out.

  32. By scjoe on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Spicer, PLEEEase, stop with the comparisons to other QBs around the league. Who really cares? I am talking about the NY Jets and THEIR QB. And no, you haven’t “proved” anything about the QB rating process regardless of what you may think. Once again I AM A NY JET FAN! Not a fan of any individual of the team per say. All I want is for them to win and bring home a trophy. How about you? I don’t care if it is Mark Sanchez (although I have my doubts) or Clemens or Brunell or Pennington or Ainge, or who ever it may be. Now, that said, do you get my point? Is this QB really performing at a level that justifys his draft position and his salary?

  33. By scjoe on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    cont..For every one blogger you point out that don’t agree with my opinion (although it is not really an “opinion”) there are 2 others who do agree and does see what I see. You simply can not ignore what is right in front of you tom.

  34. By Tom Spicer on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Welll Tom 64 the debate is over caue I am not talking about it anymore he could say whatever he wants going forward.. We will never agree on the topic period end of story.

  35. By charliejet on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Damien – We’ll miss you for the game. Offensive linemen the unsung hero!
    Heal strong – see you in 2011.

  36. By Mike Jet Vet on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Spicer Huh Cutler beat Sanchez and The Jets so like I said to many here many times Stats are for losers sorry bud

  37. By Tom Spicer on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Really? Mike the ex stats are for losers than why does he harp on completion percentage & qb rating? I thought stats were for losers!

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