7 New York Jets Who Cannot Get Hurt in 2012

Rocco ConstantinoContributor IJuly 26, 2012

7 New York Jets Who Cannot Get Hurt in 2012

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    Personally, I have loved my time writing about the New York Jets for Bleacher Report.

    It has allowed me to think of things from so many different perspectives, take retrospective trips down memory lane and defend my favorite team from hateful ex-rivals.

    But I have to say that this article was the least enjoyable piece I have written.

    It has nothing to do with the actual writing of the slideshow; it's just that picturing any of the following players getting injured left an absolute knot in my stomach.

    Every team deals with injuries in the NFL, and the Jets have had their share of devastation in recent memory.

    The high hopes of the 1999 season were dashed on opening day when Vinny Testaverde tore his Achille's tendon.  

    The good feelings of 2003 the didn't even last that long when Chad Pennington suffered a dislocated wrist in a preseason game against the Giants.

    Even Nick Mangold's two-game absence last season had a huge effect on the team.

    Injuries are a way of life in the NFL and the fact is that teams are bound to lose key players every single year.

    For the Jets sake, let's hope that none of the following seven players are those who suffer any kind of bad breaks in 2012. 

    Please knock on wood frequently while reading this article.

Darrelle Revis

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    We'll start with the obvious here.

    No team can really afford to lose a player who is a key to the entire game plan of a unit.  

    The presence of Darrelle Revis at cornerback essentially means the Jets can use one person to defend one-third of the field against the pass.

    An injury to Revis would likely force Kyle Wilson into the starter's role and force the Jets to play a more balanced pass defense instead of shifting the safety help to one side.

    Simply put, switching Wilson in for Revis and giving more coverage responsibilities to safeties who have trouble covering already would likely spell disaster for the Jets and their defense. 

Nick Mangold

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    Jets fans got a sneak peak of life without Nick Mangold for two games last year and it was quite disastrous.

    Mangold missed games against the Raiders and Ravens in Weeks 3 and 4, and to nobody's surprise, the Jets lost both games.

    The line gave up six sacks in those two games, and the running backs failed to top 100 rushing yards in either game.  

    Like last season, the Jets will enter the 2012 season with no real backup at center. Should Mangold go down with an injury, the Jets would likely be facing the world with Matt Kroul at center.

    Mangold has started 94 of a possible 96 games in his career and has shown incredible durability and toughness. He even recovered much quicker than expected from his high ankle sprain last season.

    However, this is the NFL and anything can happen. All it takes is for one person to fall into Mangold the wrong way and the Jets are staring at life with a career practice squad player at center.

    Or maybe Tim Tebow could play center.  

David Harris

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    The effect of a David Harris injury wouldn't be as significant as if Darrelle Revis or Nick Mangold went down, but it would be close.

    Harris has been playing like a Pro Bowler under Rex Ryan, and coming into his sixth year, he is ready to make this defense his.

    With the departure of Jim Leonhard, it appears that Harris will take over as the defensive signal-caller, adding to his value as a defensive leader.

    That makes a potential Harris injury even more devastating.  

    The Jets defense was in utter disarray after each of Leonhard's injuries the past two seasons, and an injury to Harris would do the same.  

    An injury to Harris would probably mean more playing time for Demario Davis. Davis may have opened a lot of eyes so far in camp and hopefully will be an impact player immediately, but to put him in a situation where he would replace Harris as a rookie is unfair.

Antonio Cromartie

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    Antonio Cromartie isn't necessarily a fan favorite in New York thanks to his penchant for bonehead plays and blown coverages.

    However, if he went down with an injury, fans would turn into Cromartie supporters very fast. 

    Cromartie has the unenviable task of playing opposite Darrelle Revis, which makes things difficult in a number of ways.

    First, he usually gets more action as most teams choose to throw towards him rather than taking a shot at Revis. Second, anytime he gives up a significant play, it looks even worse because that kind of stuff never happens on the other side of the field.

    The truth is that despite some highly-visible mistakes, Cromartie has done pretty well as Revis' counterpart. If you don't agree with that, try to picture anyone else on the Jets roster playing cornerback instead.

    If Cromartie was injured, Kyle Wilson likely would slide into the starting role.  

    How do you think he'd fare playing with a giant target on his back?

    Wilson did show improvement in 2011 and has been participating in MMA training with Bart Scott and Joe McKnight in the offseason, but he's nowhere near Cromartie's level yet.

    The hope is that Wilson continues to improve in his role as a third cornerback, but if he has to jump into the role of starter, fans would finally realize just what they have in Cromartie.

Quinton Coples

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    It's tough to say that an injury loss of Quinton Coples would be devastating to the team because he hasn't played a down yet as a Jet.

    With the way draft picks go in the NFL, there's a chance Coples could be a total bust and his loss wouldn't mean a thing.

    However, with Coples, this goes beyond just play on the field.

    The Jets have had an obvious stigma surround their lack of success in the NFL Draft. Vernon Gholston stands out in everyone's minds because it was the most recent blunder, but the history is dotted with names like Carl Barzilauskas, Johnny Lam Jones, Ron Faurot and Blair Thomas.

    Any loss of Coples not only will put a huge damper on Rex Ryan's intentions on experimenting with a 4-3 defense, but will also dishearten a fanbase who is expecting big things from Coples.

    Coples wasn't the most popular pick among draft experts, and it would be incredibly satisfying at the end of the season to be able to tell those experts to take those draft grades shove them.

    That just won't happen if Coples has an injury-plagued rookie year.

Shonn Greene

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    Unless Terrance Ganaway is Arian Foster and nobody knows it, any loss of Shonn Greene will have a huge impact on this club.

    The Jets did little to help their running back stable in the offseason and will be relying on Greene to shoulder a heavy load at running back in 2012.  

    With LaDainian Tomlinson gone and the only backups in place being Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell and Ganaway, Greene is going to be asked to carry the ball a ton for the Jets.

    If he misses any extended period of time, it's going to probably mean extensive carries for McKnight.

    McKnight did show signs of improvement in 2011 and you'd figure that the Jets inactivity in the running back market means they like what they see in McKnight, but he is a complete unknown.

    One wild card in all of this is Tim Tebow.

    Tebow has been talked about as a contributor on special teams and inside the red zone, but no mention of him playing running back has come out of Jets camp since the trade.

    However, if Greene ever had to miss extended time, you'd have to think it's possible that Tebow gets some carries.

    Either way, it would be tough to see the Jets being a serious threat if Greene suffers any kind of long-term injury.

Dustin Keller

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    At times, Dustin Keller seems to be on the verge of breaking out as an elite tight end in the league.

    While he will never be on the level of Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham, Keller has the potential to create matchup nightmares for linebackers and safeties.

    He may have been saddled by inconsistent game-planning by Brian Schottenheimer in the past as Keller seems to disappear for long stretches of time.

    One thing is certain though, when he is used there is a clear and obvious chemistry between Keller and Mark Sanchez.

    If you took Keller away from Sanchez, you'd be taking away the quarterback's security blanket.

    Sanchez seems to have fragile confidence at times, and if you took away his most trusted target, there's no telling how that would affect Sanchez.  

    Right now, Jeff Cumberland is the backup, and he has a grand total of three career receptions and is coming off a torn Achille's tendon.

    Keller has been very durable and hasn't missed a game yet during his career. However, if anyone recalls his ill-fated leap against the Bills in which he landed on his head, one realizes that a catastrophic injury is one simple wrong decision away.