NEW YORK (AP) - Jets safety Jim Leonhard was placed on injured reserve Saturday, ending the season for one of the team’s defensive leaders a day after he broke his right leg in practice.
A stabilizing rod was placed through Leonhard’s tibia during surgery Friday night at Morristown Memorial Hospital, located a few miles from the team’s training facility. The Jets announced that Leonhard is tentatively scheduled to be released Sunday or Monday, and is expected to make a full recovery. He had no damage to his fibula, ankle or knee.
“That was a huge blow to us,” a somber coach Rex Ryan said after practice Friday. “He’s a huge part of what we do.”
The team had no immediate corresponding roster move.
Leonhard, who calls defensive signals in the secondary and returns punts, was injured during team drills when he collided with wide receiver Patrick Turner. He was checked on by trainers and carted from the field.
It’s a major blow to the Jets’ third-ranked defense, especially right before a game at New England for first place in the AFC East on Monday night. Leonhard will be replaced by Eric Smith opposite Brodney Pool in the starting defense, while Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson will assume the punt return duties.
“I just knew we ran into each other and he was in pain,” Turner said. “He was just grabbing his shin.”
Leonhard is third on the team with 66 tackles and has an interception and a fumble recovery this season, his second with New York. He broke his right thumb in a game a year ago, but missed no time while playing with a cast.
By Jay Sekulow
The left's outrage over the IRS turns to a plea to 'move on'
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Politics and pop culture from the perspective of an independent hip-hop conservative
Positive propaganda for a nation in peril.
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Spelling Bee finale
Marines train Afghan soldiers
Rolling Thunder 2013
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal