Coming off the high of an impressive win on Sunday vs. Houston, the Jets jubilation was short lived as they found out today that they could be without DE John Abraham for possibly several weeks due to a sprained knee.
When the Jets travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday, they will be without one of their best defensive players. Jets Head Coach Herman Edwards said DE John Abraham sprained his right knee (LCL) in yesterday’s win and will be out this week.
“He’s definitely out this week,” Edwards said. “And he’s week to week.”
Abraham is having a Pro Bowl caliber season this year and is tied for fourth in the NFL with 9.5 sacks.
Bryan Thomas will replace Abraham in the starting lineup and rookie DE Trevor Johnson should see a bunch more playing time. Edwards talked about Thomas’ progression from last year to this year.
“I just think he’s a much more mature player than he was,” Edwards said. “He’s a guy that’s been sitting there. Now he’s in the mix. He’s in a rotation where he was playing pretty well. He’s an older player and understands what it takes to be in this league.”
Edwards talked about what the loss of Abraham means to the Jets.
“You don’t have his ability to change games,” Edwards said. “So you compensate in different ways. Yesterday, they did great job in second half shutting Houston out. You still have to play and try to win with players you have.”
The Jets defense is ranked sixth in the NFL and Edwards has been pleased with their play.
“The players want to become one of better defenses in football,” Edwards said. “They have aspirations to become that. They do a good job. They all play. Never make excuses. Everyone has role when suited up. They have fun playing. They’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
The Jets defense will have a tough task taking on the 11-1 Steelers. Pittsburgh has won 10 in a row under rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger who has thrown for 1,940 yards, 14 touchdowns, and six interceptions this year. Edwards knows Pittsburgh will pose a challenge to his team.
“They are a good football team, physical, playing with a lot of confidence,” the HC said. “We’ll have our work cut out of us.”
The Jets will have to figure out a way to run on Sunday against Pittsburgh, who is ranked first in the NFL, allowing 253.8 yards a game. The Jets running game has been solid all year led by RB Curtis Marin’s 1,305 yards and 10 touchdowns. Edwards praised his offensive line.
“They’ve been very consistent,” Edwards said. “When we’ve had opportunity to run the ball, you’re going to control the clock. Games are very short when you do that. You have to be tough to run. We’re starting to play that way.”
At 9-3, the Jets have a two-game lead on Baltimore for the fourth wildcard spot. Edwards said the Jets cannot worry about what other teams are doing and just have to go out and win games.
“I’ve always told players it’s real simple in football-if you win, you don’t have to worry about what other people do,” Edwards said. “That’s been our mindset past month-just win games. We have won three in a row. Still got a tough road ahead. We know it and are just going to try to win another game. We don’t talk about who won, who lost. We don’t really care.”
INJURY REPORT:As mentioned above, DE John Abraham is out this week with a sprained right knee he suffered in yesterday’s win. LB Victor Hobson (ankle) is questionable. CB Oliver Celestin is questionable with a sprained ankle he suffered in yesterday’s win. LB Jason Glenn (forearm) and WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) both are probable after missing yesterday’s game.
-LB Jason Glenn (forearm): Probable
-WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring): Probable
-LB Victor Hobson (ankle): Questionable
-CB Oliver Celestin (ankle): Questionable
-DE John Abraham (knee): Out
The players have off today and tomorrow before returning to work on Wednesday. The Jets go back on the road next week when they travel to Pittsburgh for a tough test against the Steelers at 4:05 p.m. Check back to Jets Insider.com often for all the latest information and news.