Jets: Turner Injury Means Time for Tannenbaum to Take Action

Connor KieselContributor IAugust 16, 2011

Turner carted off the field last night
Turner carted off the field last nightBob Levey/Getty Images

Preseason games are essentially meaningless. You get to see the young guys play, watch veterans knock off some offseason rust and watch watered down football. The only time these exhibitions actually take on any significant meaning is when a player goes down. It's a good preseason performance when you get off the field with all your key players healthy.

So score last night as not just a loss for the Jets in the preseason standings but in the greater scheme of things. Filling in for Nick Mangold at starting center, Robert Turner left the game in the opening stages with a leg injury. After today's MRI it turns out that leg is broken and Turner's out six to eight weeks.

The offensive line was the weakest point of last night's game. Vlad Ducasse looked in over his head at both the guard and tackle positions, getting blown up by Texans defenders. Greg McElroy was under pressure all night long. Now, with Turner out for awhile that offensive line depth takes another hit. One to Nick Mangold or Brandon Moore and it could get scary quickly for the Jets.

But can you get by with a patchwork offensive line? The defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers did it last season, plagued by injuries and much-maligned fill-ins. The elusiveness of Ben Roethlisberger and strength of their defense certainly helps mask that deficiency.

The Jets may not have that luxury with a quarterback in Mark Sanchez who seems to get banged up every time he leaves the pocket and improperly slides. A team dependent on its run game and giving a young, developing quarterback time to throw, needs to make sure its offensive line remains a strength, and deep enough to withstand an injury.

With Turner out, it's time for general manager Mike Tannenbaum to go out and find some depth. Former Pro Bowl center Shaun O'Hara's an option but I doubt he comes to the Jets, where a starting spot is not guaranteed. He's also recovering from surgeries of his own.

Finding someone should not be a problem. The Jets are reportedly under the cap and have money to work with. Tannenbaum has never been someone to shy away from going out and making a move. Now's the time to plug this possible hole before it becomes an issue.