Week 3 in the NFL was a good week for the New York Jets in the win/loss column. With a victory over the Miami Dolphins, the Jets claimed the top spot in the AFC East. They are 2-1 (2-0 in division), while the rival New England Patriots fell to 1-2.
Yet in the long run, Sunday will likely be remembered as a bad day for the Jets. Their best and most valuable player—Darrelle Revis—left the field with a non-contact injury to his left knee in the third quarter.
The extent of the injury was initially unclear. NFL reporter Jason Cole has reported that the injury is probably an ACL tear:
Jets source says Revis prob has a torn ACL, but hoping for better news after MRI Monday. However, knee is "loose," jargon for ACL tear.
— Jason Cole (@JasonColeYahoo) September 24, 2012
That report was confirmed by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports:
Jets fearing a possible ACL injury for Darrelle Revis. Doesn't look good but will not know extent until more test done back in New York.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 23, 2012
Revis will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine whether it is a sprain or a tear. Revis initially displayed a lot of pain after his knee gave out. He was then able to gingerly walk but not much more. The signs are consistent with some degree of ligament tear.
A complete ACL tear would mean the end of the season for Revis. Even a minor tear would possibly be season-ending. ACL tears take time to recover from, especially for speed positions like cornerback. Veteran linebacker Calvin Pace commented on the situation (via Rich Cimini of ESPN New York):
It's huge. I wouldn't necessarily call it devastating. We've got enough guys who have played. In this day in the league, it's a next-man-up mentality. I hope it's nothing serious. If he can't play, it has to be Kyle or Ellis or whoever. We have to keep moving because we have some opponents with serious weapons.
Do the Jets still have a top defense without Darrelle Revis?
The Jets will host the San Francisco 49ers next week. Whatever the diagnosis is on Monday, it is almost a certainty that Revis will not be on the field for the Week 4 game.
The Jets are now very thin at cornerback. Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson are viable starters, but they have very little beyond that. Backup cornerback Ellis Lankster has dealt with injuries so far this year and is not a tremendous talent even when healthy.
If Revis is gone for the season, that will be a major blow to the Jets. With Revis healthy, the Jets have arguably the best defense in the NFL. With Revis out, they may not even belong in that discussion.