New York Jets safety Marcus Maye suffered a season-ending torn Achilles during Thursday night's Week 9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, head coach Robert Saleh announced on Friday.
That news confirms a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who had previously tweeted it was feared that Maye would miss the rest of the season due to the injury.
Maye left Thursday's game in the third quarter after suffering the non-contact injury and didn't return.
"I'm more concerned for Marcus than what we'll do defensively to try to fill that void," Saleh told reporters on Thursday. "He's a fantastic young man. He's done everything we've asked him to do. I'm sick for him."
The 28-year-old University of Florida product recorded 46 total tackles, two passes defended and one sack in six appearances this season. He received a 62.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
"It's huge," Saleh said about the impact of Maye's injury. "Marcus, you look at that secondary, he's the vet. You've got a lot of second-year and rookie players in that back end, and Marcus was kind of that settling force back there and obviously a heck of a football player."
The injury also comes at an unfortunate time for the versatile safety, who's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end after playing 2021 on the one-year contract associated with the franchise tag, which New York applied in March.
Maye has spent his entire career with the Jets since being selected in the second round of the 2017 draft. He stepped into a larger role in 2020 after the departure of Jamal Adams.
In all, the Florida native has tallied 312 tackles, 24 passes defended, six interceptions, four forced fumbles and 3.5 sacks across 60 career games.
His name popped up in the rumor mill ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline, but the veteran defensive back made it clear he wanted to remain in New York.
"They know I want to be here," Maye told reporters. "They know I'm 100 percent with my guys."
Now it wouldn't be a surprise to see him sign a short-term contract extension with the Jets so he can prove his health after recovering from the Achilles injury, and then he can potentially hit the free-agent market at a more opportune time.
Meanwhile, Sharrod Neasman figures to fill the defensive void when New York returns to action Nov. 14 against the Buffalo Bills.