New York Jets head coach Herman Edwards announced Monday that defensive end John Abraham sustained a right knee sprain (Lateral Collateral Ligament) versus the Houston Texans and was ruled out for Sunday’s game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“It will probably be week-to-week,” Edwards said. “That’s not saying he’ll be back next week either, but this week I know he’s out.”
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Abraham, who currently ranks tied for second in the AFC with 9.5 sacks, was injured in the first half of a Jets’ 29-7 win. Third-year pro Bryan Thomas will take Abraham’s place in the starting lineup.
“When you lose a player like that, you still have to get a pass rush,” Edwards said. “You have to scheme things a little differently.”
Throughout the season, Abraham has been a backfield threat. He was named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Month for October after racking up six and a half sacks, 16 tackles, two passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
“He can beat some guys with his talent or they are going to double him or chip him and keep more guys into block because they are worried about him,” Edwards said of Abraham. “That helps you too defensively. They turn protection his way. If you know that, then obviously you can blitz coming from the other way and get one-on-one match-ups. There are a lot of things that he brings to the table that go unseen – just by his presence.”
In Abraham’s absence, the Green & White still managed to apply pressure to Houston QB David Carr. Coordinator Donnie Henderson’s unit showed both 3-4 and 3-2 looks in the final 30 minutes.
“When he’s not out there, then teams play a little different,” Edwards said. “With that being said, you have to scheme a little different. And I thought – for the most part – the defense did a nice job of that in the second half.”
Without the services of Abraham, the Jets shut out an opponent in the second half for the sixth time in 12 contests. In 10 games this season, Thomas has posted 22 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
"I think mentally he’s a lot tougher," Edwards said of Thomas. "He knows what’s expected out of him, and Donnie’s done a great job coaching those guys."[/b][/quote]