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Mickens out for season, T-Buck in

By Sean M. Deegan
Publisher, Jets Insider.com
September 8th, 2004
The team confirmed today that a follow up MRI revealed a torn ACL on the knee of CB Ray Mickens and announced that he will be placed on the injured reserve list. To add depth, the team also announced the signing of 12 year veteran CB Terrell Buckley.

The team confirmed today that a follow up MRI revealed a torn ACL on the knee of CB Ray Mickens and announced that he will be placed on the injured reserve list. To add depth, the team also announced the signing of 12 year veteran CB Terrell Buckley.

The news is a huge blow to the Jets secondary which was already suspect due to lack of depth. Mickens, 31 and a nine year vet, was expected to be a vital cog to a defensive backfield that got a total makeover this off season. Mickens injured the knee during a routine drill at practice on August 15th and due to constant swelling a clear MRI could not be performed until this week. He will now undergo reconstructive knee surgery and rehabilitation time could be six months or more.

Buckley, who has played with four other teams including division rivals New England and Miami during his dozen years in the league, was in Patriots camp this summer but released during final cuts earlier this week. Buckley currently ranks third in the NFL among active CB’s for career interceptions with 47.

Coach Herman Edwards is confident that Buckley can fill the void left by Mickens.

“He’s a good (signing) for us”, said the Coach. “He’s a veteran guy, has played a lot of football games, he’ played a lot of different roles. Nickel guy, dime guy, can play corner. He’s a guy that has the knack for intercepting passes.”

Despite his age (33), the Coach still thinks Buckley has something left in his tank.

“He’s a guy in tremendous shape”, said Edwards. “Knowing the guy, he really likes football. He’ll bring some knowledge to the young guys (in the secondary). He’s familiar with the system.”

Although Edwards said he was unsure if Buckley would play this week, he will likely step right in as the team’s nickel back and will share time with rookie Derrick Strait. Buckley will also be the first reserve coming off the bench. Undrafted rookie Roderick “Gameday” Bryant should also see some action in dime packages and also as a reserve.

If Buckley is not ready to play Sunday, the coach feels Strait is ready to step in if needed.

“I think he (Strait) has gotten better and is gaining more confidence in his role, said Edwards. “He’s played a lot of football in his college career. I think the game’s not too big for him at this level and he’s a confident player.”

In other news, the team announced that they have signed TE Tony Donald (Western State) off waivers from Green Bay to the team’s practice squad. The squad is now filled with 8 players. Also, the team upgraded the injury status of WR Wayne Chrebet (quad), FS Jon McGraw (groin) and DE Bryan Thomas (hamstring) to probable for Sunday’s game against the Bengals.

Here is the entire up to date injury list:

-WR Wayne Chrebet (quad): Upgraded; probable for Sunday.
-DE Bryan Thomas (hamstring): Upgraded; Probable for Sunday.
-CB Donnie Abraham (shoulder): Probable for Sunday.
-FS Jon McGraw (groin): Probable for Sunday.
-DT Josh Evans (back): Questionable for Sunday.
-CB Ray Mickens (Torn ACL): Out for Season.

Jets Insider.com Staff Writer John Melillo contributed to this story.

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