FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets’ offensive line will be missing a starter for the first time in nearly three years.
Right tackle Damien Woody will have arthroscopic surgery Wednesday on his injured right knee, sidelining him for at least one game and possibly the rest of the regular season.
“It’s just all about how I react and stuff like that to rehab,” Woody said Monday. “But I’m definitely going to push to get back as soon as possible.”
He will miss the game at Pittsburgh (10-3) on Sunday, and coach Rex Ryan said he is “not sure” about Woody’s availability for the following week at Chicago.
Woody will be replaced by veteran Wayne Hunter, marking the first time the Jets will play without a starting offensive lineman since the last game of the 2007 season when Adrien Clarke was benched.
The 33-year-old Woody re-injured the knee early in the Jets’ 10-6 loss to Miami on Sunday. He sprained the medial collateral ligament against Houston on Nov. 21, but was able to play the entire next two games.
“I don’t know if it necessarily made it worse,” Woody said. “It might have been one of those deals where you overcompensate because of one injury and other things happen or whatever.”
Ryan also says it is “probably doubtful” that safety Eric Smith will play for the Jets (9-4) against the Steelers with a possible concussion. Smith has suffered at least one previous concussion.
The Jets are hoping safety James Ihedigbo returns from a leg injury suffered in New York’s 45-3 loss at New England last Monday night. He missed the game against Miami with a high ankle sprain and injury to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, but Ryan said he has been doing some running.
The Jets have only Brodney Pool and recently signed Emanuel Cook as healthy players at the safety position.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.