Unlike their crosstown counterparts, the Jets have escaped that vaunted injury bug so far this preseason.

Not anymore.

Linebacker Calvin Pace left the game in the third quarter of the Jets' 16-11 loss to the Redskins at the New Meadowlands Stadium with a right foot injury and didn’t return. Pace got injured on the second play of the Redskins' initial possession of the second half.

He appeared to take a helmet to his lower leg from backup right tackle Stephen Heyer, who was sliding over to his right to block the blitzing Pace from the left side on second-and-8 from the Redskins' 27-yard line.

The extent of the injury is unknown, but he'll most likely be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks, and that puts his availability for the Sept. 13 season opener aganst the Ravens on "Monday Night Football" in serious jeopardy.

Pace left the locker room after the game sporting a walking boot.

“Calvin, he’s got something with his foot,” Rex Ryan said. “I would expect him to be out for a few weeks. So it’s unfortunate. I don’t know exactly how long he’s going to be out, but I think it’s safe to say he’s going to miss a few weeks.”

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Pace’s loss is a blow to the top-ranked defense from a year ago. The Jets brought in OLB/DE Jason Taylor to supplement an outside linebacking core that includes Pace and Bryan Thomas, hoping it would help their late-game pass rush, which wasn’t overly effective last season.

But now Taylor will be asked to step into the shoes of the 6-4, 265-pound Pace. Immediately. And who knows for how long?

"It was very unfortunate if something did happen to Calvin," Taylor said. "I don't know yet, but if it did, that's terrible and it's my job to step up and help. Do I think I can do it? Definitely I do."

So does Ryan.

“That’s a big loss, there’s no doubt,” Ryan said. “But we are fortunate we have a lot of depth at that position."