Injured Players the New York Jets Would Miss the Most This Season

Thomas AttalCorrespondent ISeptember 4, 2012

Injured Players the New York Jets Would Miss the Most This Season

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    With all the media attention the "battle" between Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez has received, the rest of the New York Jets' roster has been forgotten at times.

    Yes, the passing game has been atrocious thus far this season. However, that's exactly why the rest of the team is so important. With their quarterbacks not stepping up, the rest of the team is going to need to elevate their game in order to make a playoff run.

    The defense is expected to be spectacular, and the non-passing offensive players will be crucial in helping Sanchez out.

    Unfortunately, like every team, the Jets have had to deal with injuries this offseason. The difference is, the Jets are really not in a position to lose anyone at this point. 

1. Santonio Holmes

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    There may not be a player more important to the Jets' offense than Santonio Holmes. Despite troubles on and off the field last year, he is the primary receiver and is crucial to spreading the field and continuing to be a deep threat.

    Holmes is back, but he is barely back. His hamstring injury isn't totally gone and may be susceptible to relapse. 

    Without Holmes, the Jets have no player truly capable of threatening for the big plays which are necessary to a team already lacking in the passing game. 

    Holmes must fix his attitude and get back to being the dynamic receiver fans once loved. 

2. Jeremy Kerley

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    As important as Santonio Holmes is to the offense, his job becomes much more difficult without Jeremy Kerley available.

    Kerley has suffered from a hamstring injury which forced him to remain on the sideline for most of the preseason. He is vital to creating space offensively as his routes over the middle and inside open room for Holmes.

    Kerley isn't an elite wide receiver, but he is a good option for Mark Sanchez to have on interior routes. He plays well after the catch and gives the Jets exactly what they need from him.

    It is absolutely crucial that Kerley get back to top shape quickly if the Jets want to start seeing some touchdowns. 

3. Brandon Moore

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    According to NBC Sports, the procedure to Brandon Moore was a minor one, so the Jets can breathe easy.

    The impact shouldn't be a lasting one, but the Jets don't really have any time to waste. Moore does a fantastic job of protecting his quarterback and is a leader of the offense.

    With the struggles of the passing game, Moore will need to give Sanchez as much time as possible to find his receivers in order to allow for the running game to develop.

    The Jets offense isn't expected to be their main strength already, so having their best guard in peak form is a commodity Rex Ryan can't afford to lose.  

4. Mike Devito

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    As reported by ESPN, Mike Devito pulled a calf muscle, which shouldn't keep him off the field for too long, but it is an injury that tends to stick around for linemen. 

    The Jets will be heavily reliant on their defense this year, so they will need Devito to be on the defensive line putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. If Devito is able to continue to do that, the Jets secondary will take advantage of it's immense talent.

    Devito should be in the lineup for the opener, but if he isn't ready the Jets will suffer greatly and put pressure on their offense which is exactly what they don't want to do. 

5. Sione Po'uha

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    Sione Po'uha has a good chance of playing in Week 1, but it will be his first playing time this season. A variety of injuries to his head and back have kept him sidelined, and that's scary for Rex Ryan.

    As is the case with Devito, Po'uha is vital to keeping pressure on opposing quarterbacks while stuffing the running game. The Jets' secondary is capable of bearing the load of the defense, but in order to become the truly special unit the team needs, the defense line has to step up too.

    Despite the ESPN report stating Po'uha will play in Week 1, he won't be fully ready and that's going to hurt. 

6. Eric Smith

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    The New York Times has reported a knee injury to Eric Smith, and that is bad news for the Jets.

    Smith had difficulties at times last season in a starting role, but he is still extremely useful to the team. He is important to the secondary and his dynamic style of play also transitions into leading the special teams unit. He has great instincts and works well in various nickel packages.

    For the Jets, defense will be absolutely key this season, so losing any player likely to get time on the field is bad news.