Things just got a lot tougher for the struggling New York Jets.
Wide receiver Santonio Holmes will miss the rest of this season with an injured left foot, leaving the Jets without their top offensive playmaker. The team announced Wednesday that Holmes will require surgery and was placed on season-ending injured reserve.
‘‘Obviously, that’s a big loss for us,’’ coach Rex Ryan said. ‘‘Santonio’s one of the top receivers in the game, and it is a big loss.’’
But that leaves the Jets (2-2) now without their best players on defense and offense as they try to return to the playoffs this year after missing out last season. Ryan insisted, however, that the team’s expectations have not changed.
‘‘We have to rally around each other, for sure,’’ Ryan said, comparing the situation in 2009 when the Jets lost nose tackle Kris Jenkins and running back Leon Washington in consecutive weeks — and still made it to the AFC Championship game.
‘‘It does test the resolve of your team, but that’s one of our strengths,’’ Ryan added. ‘‘It’s unfortunate, but that’s what happens.’’
Ryan also pointed out that, despite their struggles, the Jets still lead the AFC East with a 2-0 record in the division.
‘‘Woe is me?’’ Ryan said defiantly. ‘‘How many people are going to feel sorry for the New York Jets? Myself, I know the answer to that: Nobody.’’
Brees request granted
The NFL has granted permission for Saints coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis, and assistant head coach Joe Vitt to attend New Orleans’s home game Sunday night against San Diego, in which Drew Brees can break a tie with Johnny Unitas for the NFL record of consecutive regular-season games with a touchdown pass.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Brees, tied with Unitas at 47, asked that Payton, Loomis, and Vitt be allowed to attend even as they continue to serve suspensions of various lengths in connection with the NFL’s bounty investigation.
Aiello says the three may watch the game from a private area and may not have contact with the team.
Locker won’t play Coach Mike Munchak said veteran Matt Hasselbeck will be the starting quarterback Sunday when the Titans visit Minnesota. Munchak said Jake Locker will not dress for the game while his injured left shoulder continues to heal. Locker dislocated his non-throwing shoulder for the second time in four games when sacked in last week’s 38-14 loss at Houston . . . Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison (knee) practiced fully on Wednesday, and all indications are he will make his season debut by chasing Eagles quarterback Michael Vick Sunday when Philadelphia visits Pittsburgh . . . Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings is not sounding optimistic about playing Sunday at Indianapolis. Jennings missed practice with a groin injury, and says there’s no timetable for his return . . . Lions safety Louis Delmas practiced for the first time since having surgery on his left knee nearly two months ago, the veteran bolstering a shaky secondary . . . The Chiefs put tight end Kevin Boss on injured reserve with a head injury after doctors determined they would not clear him to play the rest of the year . . . Former NFL receiver Sam Hurd pleaded not guilty to a new indictment accusing him of trying to obtain cocaine and marijuana while he was out on bond awaiting trial on charges of trying to start a drug ring in the Chicago area.