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Jets lose receiver Devin Smith to torn ACL

New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith on

New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith on October 18, 2015. Credit: Lee S. Weissman / Lee S. Weissman

Devin Smith’s season is over before it even began. Again.

At the conclusion of the NFL Draft on Saturday, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan announced that Smith tore his right anterior cruciate ligament for the second time in 16 months and will be sidelined for the entire 2017 season.

Maccagnan said Smith, 25, the Jets’ 2015 second-round pick, suffered the injury “prior to the first set of OTAs” and believes he already has undergone surgery.

“He had been around [the facility], he had been working and training,” Maccagnan said hours after selecting California wide receiver Chad Hansen with the 141st overall pick less than 24 hours after taking Alabama wideout ArDarius Stewart.

“But at the first OTA, he experienced a situation with his knee. We brought him in, we examined him — we had examined him, actually, before he went out, and then of course, when we got the MRI, it showed the torn ACL.”

It’s the latest setback in a growing list of NFL injuries for the former Ohio State speedster, who has played in only 14 games since being drafted 37th overall.

On July 31, 2015 — days into his first training camp with the Jets — Smith suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung in a collision with a teammate. His recovery timetable was four to six weeks. That same season, he was carted off the field during the third quarter of the Jets’ blowout win over the Titans on Dec. 13. An MRI the next day confirmed that he had torn his right ACL.

Smith, who finished 2015 with nine catches for 115 yards and one touchdown, spent the first six weeks of the 2016 season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. He caught one pass for 20 yards in 2016.

After taking two safeties with their first two picks, the Jets opted for Stewart and Hansen, but Maccagnan insisted that Smith’s injury wasn’t the main reason for his run on pass-catchers. He said the Jets considered this “a good year for receivers in terms of depth and value, so it just kind of worked itself out that way. We didn’t go in with the idea that we’re going to add a receiver because of what happened with Devin.”

He added, “We actually think we have a good group of young receivers, plus Eric [Decker]. And then I think going into it, we just felt, ‘Hey, let’s make this thing more competitive.’ ”


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