Jets place Dee Milliner, Brian Winters on IR
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets’ shaky secondary is in shambles. Their offensive line is down a starter, too.
Starting cornerback Dee Milliner and left guard Brian Winters were placed on season-ending injured reserve on Monday. Milliner has a torn right Achilles tendon, while Winters has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee — and both will need surgery.
“They look like significant injuries,” coach Rex Ryan said earlier Monday. “Both those guys, it doesn’t look good.”
The Jets signed cornerback Josh Thomas to take Milliner’s spot on the roster, and they claimed offensive lineman Wesley Johnson off waivers from Pittsburgh to help fill Winters’ place.
Both Milliner and Winters were injured early in the Jets’ 31-17 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Milliner was expected to be the team’s top cornerback, pairing with free-agent signing Dimitri Patterson in the secondary. But Milliner missed most of training camp and the season opener with a high ankle sprain, and sat out two games with a quadriceps injury. The team’s first-round pick last year was hurt about two minutes into Sunday’s game while playing special teams on Brandon McManus’ 37-yard field goal for Denver when he crumpled to the turf. Milliner was helped up by team trainers, but couldn’t put any weight on the leg.
He was taken to the locker room and seen leaving MetLife Stadium on a cart after the game, crutches at his side.
The Jets are now without their projected top three cornerbacks heading into training camp. Patterson was cut before the regular season after he left the team without permission and missed a preseason game. Rookie Dexter McDougle, a third-round pick, was also lost for the season after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament during camp.
The Jets have been forced into using converted safety Antonio Allen, career backup Darrin Walls and late-summer signing Phillip Adams as starters at cornerback this season.
Thomas, out of the University at Buffalo, was a fifth-round pick of Dallas in 2011. He has also spent time with Carolina and was with Seattle earlier this season.
Winters, a third-round pick last year, was replaced Sunday by Oday Aboushi late in the third quarter after T.J. Graham made an 11-yard catch for a first down for the Jets. Winters started the final 12 games of his rookie season, and was a starter for the first six games this year.
Aboushi, selected in the fifth round a year ago out of Virginia, switched from offensive tackle to guard in the offseason.
Johnson was a fifth-round selection by the Steelers in May out of Vanderbilt. He was waived by Pittsburgh last Saturday.
Backup wide receiver Greg Salas injured a wrist and ankle — both on the same play, Ryan said — and his status is uncertain. Rookie linebacker Trevor Reilly also injured a knee and didn’t return to the game Sunday.
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