Jets running back Mike Goodson (no. 23) is tackled by...

Jets running back Mike Goodson (no. 23) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Shamarko Thomas during the fourth quarter. (Oct. 13, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

How badly was Mike Goodson hurt?

Rex Ryan didn't have an update on the running back's condition but confirmed that he suffered an obvious knee injury. It didn't look good.

Goodson had to be helped off the field late in the fourth quarter Sunday after he was drilled trying to make a tackle after Geno Smith's second interception. Goodson was taken for tests inside the stadium, but the team did not release the results.

Goodson was having a decent game. He rushed for 29 yards on four attempts, gaining 18 yards on his final carry to set up a first-and-10 at the Steelers' 23. Two plays later, Smith was picked off and Goodson was on the turf, clutching his left knee. He also caught a pass for 10 yards.

Didn't Bilal Powell leave the game, too?

Ryan said Powell went out with a shoulder injury, but the running back later downplayed it.

"No injury,'' said Powell, who gained 30 yards on nine carries and caught three passes for 20 yards. "I just took a little hit, came out and took a breather. Came in and everything is good.''

Clyde Gates also left with a shoulder injury and did not return. The wide receiver appeared to hurt himself after he reached for an incomplete pass with his left arm extended. Cornerback Kyle Wilson suffered a head injury, according to Ryan, and did not return.

"I don't know the extent of those injuries right now,'' Ryan said, "but I don't believe any of those guys finished the game.''

The Jets were down several players to begin with: Santonio Holmes (hamstring), Dee Milliner (hamstring) and Kellen Winslow Jr. (four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs).

Speaking of Winslow . . .

The tight end's absence definitely was felt. Although Smith tried to downplay the void left by Winslow, who was leading the team with 17 catches, the stat sheet told a different story. Gates, a backup, had a team-high five receptions for 36 yards. Jeff Cumberland had four catches for 59 yards and Stephen Hill caught three passes for 46.

"We practiced without Kellen,'' Smith said, invoking the "next man up'' mantra. "We all love Kellen and we wish he could be here with us, but he's not. We've got guys who are capable of stepping up. We've got plays set up that we can get the ball in the other guys' hands, and guys have just got to step up.''

Why were the Jets so conservative on offense?

Ryan said that was the game plan.

"We wanted to run the ball a little bit more,'' he said. "There's no question. I'm not going to sit back and say I wish we would have run the ball more, but we thought we could create some plays for us [and] stay out of third-and-long situations, because [the Steelers], quite honestly, thrive in those situations. This team has done that for years.

"I don't think any team besides the Ravens feasts on turnovers more than this team. It's what they did again today. That was probably the biggest thing that stemmed the tide a little bit.''

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