Updated, 6:35 p.m. ET
A new week, a new injury, a new Jet.
Head coach Rex Ryan confirmed at his midday news conference that LB Josh Mauga had torn a pectoral muscle during the Monday night game against the Texans. Mauga joins recently IR-ed players Santonio Holmes and TEs Dedrick Epps and Josh Baker as well as Darrelle Revis, who remains listed as “out” with his serious knee injury.
To take Mauga’s roster spot, the Jets have signed a DT with Indianapolis ties in Daniel Muir.
“He’s a former Colt, a former Packer, a guy that has some experience,” Ryan said. “We’re excited to add him.”
In keeping with the recent trend of newly signed Jets, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the 6’2″, 322-pound Muir get some reps Sunday against the Colts, his team of the previous four seasons. NT Sione Pouha (back) didn’t participate in today’s practice after sitting out the Texans. Neither did Kenrick Ellis (knee), who “doesn’t look good for this week,” said Ryan.
“Do I want to play Sunday? Of course,” Muir told me after practice. “But my main thing is I’m going to let the coaches make that determination. It doesn’t matter what I want. They’ve got to see it and I’ve got to show it. I’m going through a crash course now.”
So who does that leave on the inside? Is Po‘uha definitely out again?
“I’m not sure. We’ll just see how the week goes on,” Ryan said. “We’ve got ‘Snacks’ [Damon Harrison], who’s doing a good job. And [Mike] DeVito can play in there. He’s done that in the past as well.”
Despite the IR-ed Mauga, who in the first five games was in for about 50 plays on defense and about 165 including special teams, the Jets’ injury list appeared to slightly improve ahead of today’s practice compared to last week’s 24-man list.
This week’s full post-practice list had 23 players. Four others besides Po‘uha and Ellis were DNPs — FB John Conner (hamstring), C Nick Mangold (ankle), WR Clyde Gates (shoulder) and S LaRon Landry (heel) with his regular midweek day of rest.
Seven others were limited, including TE Dustin Keller, who’s missed four games, and rookie WR Stephen Hill, who’s sat out the last two, both with hamstring injuries. Did Rex have confidence in either receiver’s return for Indy?
“I would say Dustin now — his injury’s had more time to heal,” he said. “But I’m hopeful both of them will be out there.”
Also limited were three LBs — David Harris (hamstring), Bart Scott (toe) and Bryan Thomas (hamstring) — plus WR Jeremy Kerley (finger/illness) and S Eric Smith (knee). Ten others were listed as full participants. The Jets’ full preliminary injury report can be found here.
The Colts’ first list of the week had 10 players, but eight who didn’t participate today. Familiar names were old pass-rushing nemeses Dwight Freeney (ankle) and Robert Mathis (knee), now both LBs in Indy’s 3-4 scheme, as well as CB Vontae Davis (ankle), RB Donald Brown (knee), and former Jets NT Martin “MTV” Tevaseu (ankle). The three other DNPs were LB Pat Angerer (foot), DE Fili Moala (knee) and G Joe Reitz (knee).
Ryan was asked about Houston LB Brian Cushing’s season-ending knee injury, which he suffered on a cut block by guard Matt Slauson in the second quarter on Monday. The Jets coach was unhappy to hear about the injury to the Texans’ defensive star but defended his player on the play.
“It’s an unfortunate thing. Clearly in this league it’s all about the players, and Brian’s a great player. I hate to see that,” Ryan said. “Obviously we’ve experienced our own [injury] issues.
“It’s something that definitely was not intentional. It’s a legal block. We don’t cut very often. Sometimes we’ll cut on the second level and things. … [Houston’s] zone running schemes, they cut every single play. It’s not dirty. It’s a technique. Almost every single run on the back side, they’ll do that. With us, it was a thing that was unintentional. I feel terrible for Brian, and for the league. The league loses when you lose a player like that.”
Muir’s best seasons were 2009 and ’10, when combined he played in 34 games with 28 starts, including Super Bowl XLIV. He’s been more of a double-team eater than a pocket-collapser in his career with a total of 124 tackles but only 1.5 sacks. Interestingly, the only full sack of his career came in the 2010 AFC Wild Card Game, a first-quarter, first-and-10 sack of Mark Sanchez in the Jets’ 17-16 triumph.
Reporters are keeping Tebowmania on the simmer but Ryan declines to turn up the heat. About the questions he continues to get about his QBs, he said: “I’ve got no problem answering questions each week.” And about a perceived public clamoring to see more of No. 15, even as the starter, he said:
“We picked Tim up because we know he’s a good football player. One thing I know about the public is that the public wants to win. I understand that. The decision on playing Tebow is going to be my decision. It’s not going to be the public’s decision or anybody else’s. It’s on me. Quite honestly, I think I’ve learned through the years to tune out the public a little bit. That’s probably a good thing. Sometimes what you hear is not real flattering. You learn to walk off the field with earmuffs on.”
Tags: Damon Harrison, Dan Muir, Dustin Keller, Indianapolis Colts, Josh Mauga, Kenrick Ellils, Rex Ryan, Sione Pouha, Stephen Hill, Tim Tebow
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