This Jets Defender Landing on Injured Reserve Is 'Going to Hurt' For New York

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Another Jets defender has landed on the injured reserve. This time, it's New York's longest-tenured player.

The Jets placed linebacker Jordan Jenkins on the IR on Wednesday with a shoulder injury. He had played in all 12 games up until last weekend's blowout loss in Seattle, sitting out after hurting his shoulder against the Raiders the week before.

Jenkins, 26, has 32 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble across 12 games (and 12 starts) in 2020. There's a "really good possibility" that the fifth-year linebacker needs surgery on his shoulder, Gase revealed on Thursday.

Safety Saquan Hampton was also placed on the IR this week. Hampton was signed off the practice squad in Week 14 but went on to rupture his achilles against the Seahawks.

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Leading up to New York's matchup with the Seahawks, when head coach Adam Gase revealed Jenkins wouldn't be available, other members of this beleaguered defense articulated just how much Jenkins means to this team on game days.

Neville Hewitt said missing Jenkins was "going to hurt" while Tarell Basham explained that going forward, others will have big shoes to fill.

"Jordan is a great guy to play with," Basham said last week in a Zoom call with reporters. "Makes a lot of plays. Going forward, it's next man up. Next guy has to step up."

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Jenkins has also been banged up practically all season according to Gase. The linebacker not being able to play last week (and now landing on the IR) is a testament to how serious this injury is. Gase called Jenkins "as tough as they come" in a teleconference with reporters last week as well.

"You can imagine what kind of pain he must be in and issues he's having for him to finally say, 'okay, it's probably the right move to do,'" Gase said in a Zoom call on Thursday. "He was trying to figure out a way to get back for these last few games. It's just his range of motion was just, I mean, I don't know how much he would have been able to do he would have been playing with one arm."

New York had its worst defensive performance of the season last weekend in the only game this year that Jenkins hasn't played. That's a bad sign for New York entering the final three weeks of the season, hoping to avoid finishing the year with a winless record. 

It's also worth noting that the Jets had their closest calls of the year, losing on last-second scores to New England and Las Vegas, in the only two games where Jenkins played more than 75 percent of this team's defensive snaps. 

Just a coincidence? Maybe. Either way, not having Jenkins will be a big blow to one of the worst defenses in football. 

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Jenkins was selected by New York in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft out of Georgia. He's played in a grand total of 72 games over the last five seasons since then, compiling 189 tackles and 22.5 sacks.

Other defenders currently on the IR include linebacker Brian Cashman, safety Ashtyn Davis, safety Bradley McDougal, linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, defensive lineman Kyle Phillips and cornerback Brian Poole. Corner Bless Austin returned from his stint on the injured reserve this past weekend. 

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