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DeVito Knee Could Lead to Ellis’ First Pro Start

Posted by Randy Lange on October 21, 2011 – 2:18 pm

Updated 5:05 p.m. ET

A practice mishap involving defensive tackle Mike DeVito could lead to rookie nose tackle Kenrick Ellis, who made his pro debut Monday night against Miami, getting his first NFL start Sunday vs. San Diego.

DeVito got his knee rolled up at Wednesday’s practice. He was limited Thursday and today he sat out all of the team drills. He’s listed as questionable for the Chargers.

“We had him checked out and he checked out fine — he’s just awfully sore,” head coach Rex Ryan said at his daily news conference after today’s practice, adding that DeVito underwent an MRI and has no structural damage in the knee. “It could be gametime on him whether he goes or not.”

So the starter in the base could be … Ellis. Not Ropati Pitoitua or Marcus Dixon? Both are back from their injuries, practicing full today and listed as probable.

“Those guys are going to play a ton of roles for us,” Ryan said. “But in the run game, I’d like to have two nose tackle types, I’d like to have Bo and Kenrick in there, if DeVito can’t play, to stop that run up.”

The Chargers have a dangerous rushing attack. Ryan Mathews is 10th in the NFL with 413 rushing yards at 4.9 yards per carry, and with Mike Tolbert (concussion) likely to return to action, they have a fine 1-2 punch and the league’s No. 9 rushing offense.

But Ellis had the wraps taken off last week and contributed nicely against the Dolphins run, with three tackles, including 1.5 for loss. And given that the ‘Bolts also have a dangerous passing attack triggered by Philip Rivers, it’s probable that Ellis won’t be getting 60 snaps on Sunday.

Whatever his role, what Kenrick said after the win over the Dolphins surely applies to the Chargers and beyond: “I’m just happy to help.”

More on the Injury Front

Ryan’s Friday injury list has CB Isaiah Trufant (hamstring) out for Sunday, joining WR Logan Payne (wrist) on the sideline. The only other “questionable” was C Nick Mangold but he was questionable for the previous two games and still came out for the starts at Baltimore and New England. Nine other Jets are probable after full practices, including CB Antonio Cromartie (groin; limited Thursday) and Pitoitua (knee; limited Thursday).

San Diego’s injury report lists DE Luis Castillo as out for the game. TE Antonio Gates (foot) participated in the Chargers’ full practice today and is listed as questionable. Five other players are listed as probable — WR Vincent Jackson (hamstring), RB Mike Tolbert (concussion), RB Jacob Hester (foot), DE Jacques Cesaire (knee) and CB Marcus Gilchrist (knee). All practiced full except for Hester, who was limited.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “DeVito Knee Could Lead to Ellis’ First Pro Start”

  1. By IRA on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Hope Mike can go this would not be good news. But i was very happy with Ellis’ play the other night and if RP can return they could get by this week without Mike.

  2. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Ellis starts and has a better game than practically any DeVito’s ever had, given how he almost did that last week.

  3. By Chicago Bob on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    He is going to make mistakes however if he can provide any kind of penetration into the backfield it will be a plus – too many times you see Devito and Pouha just fighting guys at the line of scrimmage. This guy was the key to the draft. Every quality 3-4 defense always has a solid NT. The Ravens have Ngata and the Steelers (when they were at their best) had Casey Hampton. Granted, when the Bills had their strong defense they had Bruce Smith however they also had Ted Washington over the center. They have to continue and get this kid as much playtime as possible – we need him to take over the NT position next year (

  4. By IrishJets39 on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    I like this guy Ellis like what I see of him went coming out into the drafts. I hope he can play well.

  5. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    My one question, is Ken Ellis really 350? What was Jenkins listed at? I always thought that Jenkins looked freakishly larger, then any other, freakishly large person on the field. Don’t get me wrong, Ellis is huge and looks like he can command a double team, but what was Jenkins like 400 pounds? I guess that’s why his knees couldn’t hold up.

  6. By Tom Spicer on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    This could be a good thing for the Jet D with Ellis at the NT. Pouha & Devito are strictly run stuffers & this year they have not even done that. I have said this before on this site the Jet D line of the future is Ellis at NT, Wilkerson at DE & either Ropati Pitoitua or Dixon at the other DE.

  7. By jorge on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    i agree with you bob we need a true nose tacle ellis looks like he can be the future guy and pouha can move to to the right side

  8. By bass53 on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Chicago bob is on the money no doubt… Ellis needs snaps.. the NT is the most important player on the D line in the 3/4.. Ellis is a load to block more so than either Bo or devito.. both players are very good.. but ellis has way more upside.. get him more snaps and watch him flourish as his technique improves and he learns the nuances of the position.. rex should move heaven an earth to get Kris Jenkins to tutor ellis.. he was a phenomenal NT when he was healthy.. Bo an Devito are fine players but neither seem to require 2 Olinemen to block them.. as i watched last week game after two snaps with Ellis on the field.. Miami sent the center and guard on Ellis.. he still split them and made a tackle in the backfield for a loss…

  9. By GaryC on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    you guys overrate what a nose tackles weight needs to be,Ratliff of Dallas has gone to a few pro bowls at about 280-290 range and shaun rogers at about 350 -360 plays like a stiff.Let’s get real, diagnose and attack,that is what you do.

  10. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    So GaryC, do you feel that Kris Jenkins was so dominant because of his technique, not his size? I’m not saying he had no technique, he obviously did, but him and Wilforks size definitely contributes to there dominance.

  11. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    You’re right though GaryC Joe Klecko went to a pro bowl from three different positions including NT.

  12. By GaryC on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    Clarke, I mentioned this one other time awhile back,when jenkins first came in the league he was a defensive end,as you stated was Klecko,so I think it is more about talent and technique than size,also another guy I will mention is Jeff Wright who was on those super bowl teams with the bills and he was far from a menacing specimen.

  13. By Tom Spicer on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    Kris Jenkins was “listed at 365″ but 350 for a rookie is a big dude. Also Ratliff is a different kind of NT in that he is amazingly fast.

  14. By jorge on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

    is the system and in rexs system the nose tacle has to handle two oline man so the lbs can get in the backfield pouha does not he is a better end in the 3-4 watch and see as the year goes by how ellis will move to the front and pouha to the right is a win win

  15. By davetharave on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Good idea sitting DeVito since we now seem to have a wealth of good young guys on the DL, he’ll be 100% after the extra weeks’ rest. Good progress was made yesterday off the Miami game where the team got back on track, the hope would be for exactly what happened yesterday. Better and more balanced offense, defense starting to play like the last 2 years and some of these young guys, Kerley, Maybin, Wilson, McKnight, Ellis making plays. Joe M. even got some carries from scrimmage, want to see more of that, he’s gonna break one soon then watch out, we’ll have a 3 headed running game. Sanchez looking better, now lets rest up, but not too much, and come out like gangbusters against Buffalo.

  16. By IrishJets39 on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    Maybin replace Thomas with was the best thing to happen cause Rex Ryan cut Maybin so they needed to bring him back Maybin is doing a good job so far. Calvin Page and Mo Wilkerson are being mix at the other end. Put Kenrick Ellis at NT,

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