It’s been a roller-coaster season of learning for second-round rookie WR Stephen Hill. Just a few weeks ago he talked about what he had planned for the last month of his first pro season.
“I just want to finish this season as hard as I can,” said the tall, fast, earnest young man from Georgia Tech. “I know a little more about what it takes to be great, or greater. I’m going to take that from today and try to build on that every day from today on into the offseason.”
Today Hill learned that he would be spending the final two weeks of the regular season on injured reserve with his knee injury.
The 6’4″, 215-pounder began the season with incredible promise, becoming the first Jet ever to debut with two touchdown catches in his first game in green and white against the Bills on opening day.
But those five catches for 89 yards and two TDs would be the high point of his inaugural season in the play-for-pay league. He had four receptions for 55 yards at New England and 5-for-40 in the 7-6 win over Arizona. But he also had several drops, two in the end zone and one late at Gillette Field that, had he caught it, likely would have iced an upset win over the Patriots.
He fought his way through calf, hamstring and ankle injuries and illness to post 21 catches for 252 yards (12.0 avg.) and three TDs. His last contribution to the cause came on the play on which he reinjured his knee, when he was pulled down by CB Derek Cox to draw a 14-yard pass interference penalty in the second quarter at Jacksonville.
Hill left EverBank Field that day limping only slightly and with an electro-stim device connected to his knee, smiling and talking optimistically about getting back quickly from this latest physical setback. But the progress had been slow, with head coach Rex Ryan saying this morning that Hill wouldn’t practice today at the Atlantic Health Training Center and adding that “He’s not going to be able to go” on Sunday against San Diego.
With the arrival off waivers last week of WR Braylon Edwards, his contribution on a week’s work at Tennessee, and the good condition of his sore hamstring, the Jets decided late today to place Hill on IR. Taking his place on the active roster is CB Donnie Fletcher, signed for the second time this season off the Jets’ practice squad.
Hill becomes the eighth player to go on IR in this painful Jets season, following CB Darrelle Revis, WR Santonio Holmes, LB Josh Mauga, CB Isaiah Trufant, TE Dedrick Epps, FB-TE Josh Baker and CB Royce Adams.
Wednesday Injury Reports
Going on IR, Hill is no longer on the Jets’ I-report, but 20 players were listed today for the Chargers game.
Four players did not practice. Ryan said of the availability of TE Dustin Keller (ankle) for Sunday, “I’m not real sure. I’ll lean on the trainers for that.” G Brandon Moore (hip/foot) is a DNP because “off a short week, I think we’re just giving him a day, pretty much.” WR Chaz Schilens (knee/calf) “did finish the game, so we’ll see about him.” And Ryan said he’s “concerned” with CB Aaron Berry (hamstring).
The Jets’ five limited players are all working through previous injuries: WR Braylon Edwards (hamstring), S LaRon Landry (heel), DT Sione Po‘uha (low back), LB Ricky Sapp (ankle) and LB Bryan Thomas (chest). The other 11 players were all full-go today.
The Chargers listed eight players: Did Not Practice — DT Aubrayo Franklin (knee), LB Takeo Spikes (hamstring). Limited — RB Ronnie Brown (hamstring), LB Donald Butler (groin), LB Demorrio Williams (ankle). Full — T Jeromey Clary (knee), G Tyronne Green (hamstring), WR Eddie Royal (hamstring).
Tags: Braylon Edwards, Darrelle Revis, Derek Cox, Donnie Fletcher, Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill
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