Kris Jenkins To Injured Reserve: How Do The New York Jets Cope?

Jason ClaryCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2010

Kris Jenkins being helped off the field by the Jets training staff
Kris Jenkins being helped off the field by the Jets training staffJared Wickerham/Getty Images

Kris Jenkins, a 10 year vet, has reportedly taken his last snaps of the season. Jenkins hurt his knee in last nights match-up between the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens.

Jenkins, who tore the ACL in his left knee, had the same injury last season, which sidelined him after just six games.

Jenkins was a proven nose tackle in this league, and his presence will be missed in the center of the Jets' defense.


Who will replace Jenkins?

The fact is, nobody on the Jets' defense can actually replace Jenkins. He was the best defensive lineman on the team.

The Jets have several options for starters, like Sione Pouha. Pouha is the biggest player on the Jets line besides Jenkins. The duty of a nose tackle is to take up space and hold ground, and Pouha has probably the best skill set to do so.

Several players will see a rise in playing time, like Pouha, Mike DeVito, Matt Kroul, and Marcus Dixon.

These players will likely be in a rotation, in order to keep them fresh throughout the game.

Players like Shaun Ellis will have to work double time on the defensive line in order to compensate for the loss.



Is this Jenkins' last season?

There were rumors last season that Jenkins was contemplating retirement after he tore his ACL in his left knee. After Jenkins injured the same knee, he has to be seriously considering hanging up his pads.

His knees simply can't take his weight, nor the stress he puts on them while playing one of the hardest positions in the NFL.

If Jenkins were to come back, he would have to shed several pounds from his 360 pound frame. The Jets should make it mandatory for him to slim down. Bad things happen to players that are overweight.

This is exactly why teams make players pass physicals before training camp, so they don't get hurt trying to play out of shape and overweight.


What does this mean for the Jets' defense, and team as a whole?

The Jets were not impressive last night, to say the least. They played terribly defending on third down, while the offense failed to get into any type of rhythm.

I mention the Jets offense because if they continue their struggles, the defense without Jenkins will struggle.

The Ravens possessed the ball for almost twice the amount of time that the Jets did. The Jets' defense was tired, and didn't seem to get the push up the middle once Jenkins was injured.

The Jets defense was still stifling to the Ravens, but they performed very poorly when the game was on the line and when they needed to make stops.

Without Jenkins, this Jets defense isn't nearly as tenacious against the run.