Another week, another season-ending Achilles injury for the Jets.
Bryan Thomas, one of the Jets' unheralded defensive players, is out for the year after injuring his Achilles in last night's brutal 34-17 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore. It's a big blow to a defense that relied on Thomas doing a lot of the grunt work that goes unnoticed.
"Obviously, unfortunate news about Bryan Thomas being lost for the season with an Achilles injury," said Rex Ryan, whose team lost tight end Jeff Cumberland to a season-ending Achilles injury in Oakland a week ago. "That's going to be a huge loss to us, obviously."
Thomas is the longest tenured Jet, having been here for 10 seasons. The 6-4, 265-pounder had 14 combined tackles and one pass defense through his three-plus games before going down.on the Ravens' second offensive possession.
Ryan wouldn't go so far as to say Jamaal Westerman, who he dubbed the team's designated pass rusher in the preseason, would slide into Thomas' starting spot. He said there are a number of things the Jets could do, including playing more four-man fronts rather than their usual 3-4 look.
Aaron Maybin, who recorded his first career sack last night, could also see time there, as could Garrett McIntyre, who's day-to-day with a concussion. Inside linebacker Josh Mauga has been cross training on the outside as well, so he's another possibility.
Either way, it's not going to be easy replacing Thomas.
"It’s tough when you lose a guy that is a true Jet, a guy that’s played a lot of snaps for us," safety Jim Leonhard said. "We’ve got some guys that need to step up. There’s no question about it. We feel like we have the guys in the room that can do it. They really need to step up."
They're going to have to with the Patriots coming up in six days.