Jets defender Antwan Barnes celebrates his first-half safety against the...

Jets defender Antwan Barnes celebrates his first-half safety against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Sept. 8, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Pass-rushing specialist Antwan Barnes thought he had just tweaked his right knee when he injured it late in Monday night's game at Atlanta.

It turned out Barnes did much more than that. The linebacker learned on Tuesday that he suffered a season-ending injury. He was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.

The Jets will miss him "tremendously, man," according to linebacker Calvin Pace.

"He was playing well," Pace said. "It happened on a fluke play. It's like any other injury. Somebody else is going to have to step up. Who that guy is, I don't know. But it was sad to hear. When it happened he said it was fine. Come in Tuesday and it was bad news, the worst news you can get. He's in our prayers and hopefully he can come back from it."

The Jets signed Barnes to a three-year, $4-million free-agent deal in the offseason. He had two sacks and led the team with 12 quarterback hits.

"That's a tough loss," coach Rex Ryan said. "Talk about an underrated player . . . We're certainly going to miss him."

Barnes, on his verified Twitter feed, wrote: "Just want to take the time to thank everyone who is supporting me through this time . . . my spirits is still high and I will be back . . . #Jetpride"

The Jets re-signed linebacker Ricky Sapp.

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WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring), DB Dee Milliner (hamstring) and S Jaiquawn Jarrett did not practice. RB Mike Goodson sat out with an illness and DT Kenrick Ellis was excused for a noninjury related reason . . . TE Kellen Winslow (knee) also did not practice. Winslow, who reportedly was frustrated with a lack of playing time on Monday night, declined to speak with reporters for the second time in three days.

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