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Jets will be without Buster Skrine vs. Falcons

Buster Skrine of the Jets looks on  during

Buster Skrine of the Jets looks on  during training camp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on  July 29, 2017. Credit: James Escher

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jets starting cornerback Buster Skrine will miss Sunday’s game against the Falcons with a concussion suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins.

Skrine, who told the team Monday that he wasn’t feeling well, was on the practice field without a helmet during the Jets’ open media access period Friday. Coach Todd Bowles isn’t sure if he will play Thursday against Buffalo.

It was Skrine’s third concussion in the last three seasons. He had one in 2015 but played that week against the Patriots, and last season he missed a December contest against the Dolphins with the same issue.

Bowles was asked if Skrine might experience long-term issues because of his repeated concussions.

“I couldn’t answer that question, honestly. Hopefully not,” Bowles said Friday. “I don’t wish that on anybody. I’ve seen some players do and some players don’t.”

Bowles would not disclose who will start in place of Skrine. Replacing him is very tricky. Skrine is the outside cornerback in the base defense but moves to the slot in the nickel packages.

Juston Burris and Darryl Roberts are outside cornerbacks and either one could start in the base defense. Robert Nelson could move into the slot in the nickel defense. Burris, Roberts and Nelson all practiced in the slot this week. Bowles said the other starting cornerback, Morris Claiborne, could play in the slot, if necessary, depending on the matchup.

The Jets will face talented Falcons receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Claiborne could be matched against Jones, who lines up in the slot and outside, for the entire game. Bowles said whether he wants a cornerback to shadow a receiver for an entire game depends on the situation.

“We’re confident,” he said. “We’re OK.”

Bowles also could experiment with one of his safeties playing the slot. This season, the Jets have utilized three safeties at the same time, starting strong safety Jamal Adams and free safety Marcus Maye with backups Rontez Miles or Terrence Brooks. Adams most likely would cover tight ends and Maye could cover a wide receiver, if necessary.

Skrine is coming off a terrible game in which he allowed one touchdown and quite possibly was responsible for another in the loss to the Dolphins. He was penalized three times, twice on the tying drive in the fourth quarter. Yet the Jets remain confident in Skrine’s skills.

“Losing Buster right now is tough,” Claiborne said. “But it’s the next man up, but you hear that everywhere you go. When one guy goes down, another guy has to step up and get that job done.”

Notes & quotes: Linebacker Demario Davis and left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who attended a portion of the NFL owners’ meetings two weeks ago regarding player protests for social change, declined to get into specifics about what was said. An ESPN report detailed several discussions . . . TE Jordan Leggett (knee) and RT Brandon Shell (neck) have been ruled out. DE Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder, foot) is questionable but didn’t practice. If he feels OK in pregame warm-ups, he will play.

New York Sports