Rex Ryan has to adjust to life without Kris Jenkins anchoring his defensive line.
The New York Jets nose tackle was placed on season-ending injured reserve yesterday with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
“That’s hard,’’ Ryan said. “It’s going to be hard to replace Kris. There’s not many Kris Jenkins playing in this league. Obviously, his impact is going to be felt.’’
The four-time Pro Bowl selection was injured while making a tackle in the second quarter of the Jets’ 16-13 overtime loss to Buffalo Sunday, the team’s third straight defeat after beginning the season 3-0.
“My feelings are hurt that I won’t be able to be out there fighting with my teammates this year,’’ said Jenkins, who was on crutches and had his leg heavily wrapped.
Ryan said the team would re-sign defensive tackle Howard Green to help replace Jenkins, as will holdovers Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito.
Ryan also announced he is sticking with Mark Sanchez at quarterback despite the rookie’s five interceptions in the loss to the Bills.
Sanchez has mostly struggled since beating out Kellen Clemens for the job. He’s tied with Carolina’s Jake Delhomme for the league lead in interceptions with 10, and his 56.7 quarterback rating is higher than only Oakland’s JaMarcus Russell and Cleveland’s Derek Anderson.
“I just think we’ve got to do a great job at looking at what we’re asking this young man to do,’’ Ryan said. “Do we need to cut things back? Are there things that we could do to put on somebody else’s plate to take some things off his plate? I have a lot of confidence in Mark.’’
“Sometimes we have to do things that are uncomfortable,’’ Zorn said.
Zorn received the news in a meeting with front office chief Vinny Cerrato at the stadium following Sunday’s 14-6 loss to the previously winless Chiefs. The Redskins (2-4) are averaging 13.2 points and have failed to score a touchdown in two of their home games.
“The reason I can comply with this is simply because of the lack of scoring,’’ Zorn said. “I want to win, too. If this has to be done this week, if this is going to be the key, I’m certainly willing to give it a try.’’
Several players were taken aback by the notion of trusting such a vital role to someone not yet thoroughly familiar with the roster.
“I don’t think it’s an ideal situation,’’ quarterback Todd Collins said. “Generally you have some play callers work with a quarterback for years and years.’’
Lewis will call plays from the upstairs coaching box, starting with Monday night’s game against the Eagles. Zorn said he’ll retain control over big decisions but that he won’t veto Lewis’s play calls. “I wouldn’t do that to Sherm,’’ Zorn said.