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Rex Ryan says Eric Smith, Sione Po'uha will miss season opener

Jets defensive tackle Sione Pouha walks across the

Jets defensive tackle Sione Pouha walks across the field during practice at the Atlantic Health Training Facility. (June 13, 2012) Photo Credit: Joe Epstein

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets will be without safety Eric Smith and defensive tackle Sione Po'uha in Sunday's season opener against the Buffalo Bills, Jets coach Rex Ryan said Friday.

Po'uha, who had a back injury, wants to play, but the team decided to hold him out one more week, Ryan said, though Po'uha is listed as questionable on the injury report. Smith, who has been suffering from nagging knee and hip injuries, is expected back next week.

"He's close. He's real close," Ryan said of Po'uha. "He's been begging us to play, but I think we're gonna be smart and give it a little time."

The relatively inexperienced Kenrick Ellis will start in place of Po'uha. LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell will be the safeties.


Keller ready to go

There was, however, some good news on the injury front. Tight end Dustin Keller, who has been suffering from a hamstring injury, was back on the practice field, running routes during the portion of practice open to the media. He is expected to play. "He looked good," Ryan said. "I think he's ready to roll, so we'll see how much it will limit him." . . . Defensive end Mike DeVito told reporters that his calf is 100 percent and he will be back in the lineup.

New York Sports