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Add Ihedigbo to list of injured safeties

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, tries

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, tries to elude New York Jets safety James Ihedigbo, right, who makes the sack during the first quarter. (Dec. 6, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

A day after being eviscerated by Tom Brady and the Patriots, the hits keep on coming for the Jets secondary.

Safety James Ihedigbo was slated to have an MRI done on his right knee Tuesday after getting tripped up and leaving in the third quarter Monday night, according to coach Rex Ryan. Ihedigbo likely sustained a high ankle sprain and some damage to his medial collateral ligament. After losing Jim Leonhard to a season-ending injury, the Jets are down to two healthy safeties: Brodney Pool and Eric Smith. Ryan said another defensive back will be brought in to fill the hole, but the Jets will have to cut Laveranues Coles.

"The fact that [Ihedigbo] didn't finish the game generally is a concern," Ryan said at the Jets' training facility. "I don't know the extent right now."

Ryan said that bringing in a new defensive back is necessary, even if Ihedigbo is cleared to play, and added that the Jets have a preferred candidate. "There's a guy I think we'll target," he said. "We'll see what happens there. It's tough now because you have to play them, and they better be familiar with what your doing."

Right now, though, the Jets have more questions than answers. The safety they were targeting, Keith Fitzhugh, declined the invitation, according to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger. Fitzhugh, a conductor with the Norfolk Southern Railroad whom the Jets released on Sept. 4, said he had to think of his family and job security.


Returner committee

Jerricho Cotchery appeared on WFAN's midday show saying the Jets will use Santonio Holmes as their primary punt returner from here on out. Leonhard had been the primary punt returner until his injury.

Ryan said that Cotchery, Holmes and Joe McKnight will all be used in the role.

Holmes has one punt return this year for 8 yards, and was one of the Steelers' main punt returners in 2006, when he had 26 returns for 264 yards and a touchdown. He added 34 returns for 226 yards in 2008.


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