FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Jets’ secondary took a few big hits Friday.
The team announced that safety Antonio Allen is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, and cornerback Dee Milliner will be sidelined up to two months with a wrist injury that requires surgery.
Both players were hurt during training camp practice Thursday.
Allen was placed on the waived/injured list, but could be added to the Jets’ injured reserve list if he clears waivers. He was expected to back up projected starters Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor.
“It’s a tough break for him,” coach Todd Bowles said after practice Friday. “He was having a good camp. He’s a guy that comes to work, practices hard and he plays hard. Just a freak accident.”
Allen was hurt Thursday on a non-contact play in team drills when he simply came out of his stance and then fell to the ground.
Allen, a seventh-round draft pick out of South Carolina in 2012, played both safety and cornerback last season as a versatile and athletic part of then-coach Rex Ryan’s defense.
His injury could create an opportunity for Rontez Miles, who spent most of last season on the practice squad, or undrafted free agent Durell Eskridge to make the Week 1 roster at safety. Cornerback Darrin Walls will also get some work with the backup safeties.
Milliner was scheduled to have surgery Friday on the injured tendon in his right wrist, the latest in a series of setbacks for the team’s first-round pick out of Alabama in 2013.
“It has to be frustrating for him,” Bowles said. “He started doing some good things. He got back healthy, and to have another setback like that after the injury he already came off of, you’ve got to be deflated a little bit. But I think he’ll be back sooner rather than later with this (injury).”
Milliner had just recently been cleared for team activities after tearing his Achilles tendon last October, and was looking forward to backing up starters Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie at cornerback.
“I feel rejuvenated, man,” Milliner told The Associated Press a day before the latest injury. “It’s been a long time since I’d been able to be out there on that field. It’s overwhelming.”
Milliner was expected to start last season, but played in only three games after the injury. He also missed a large chunk of training camp after suffering a high ankle sprain last summer during practice. An ankle injury also sidelined him for three games during his rookie season.
He was having a good camp this year, but will again be relegated to the sideline for the next six to eight weeks — something that Milliner had a difficult time dealing with last year.
“That was the toughest part, not being able to do anything,” he said. “I couldn’t run, do any drills. Nothing. All I could do was sit on the couch and look at film. Man, that was the roughest part. I wanted to be out there. Your job is to play football.”
A few other cornerbacks were banged up Friday. Keith Lewis appeared to injure his groin early in practice, while Curtis Brown came off late in practice grabbing his left hamstring. Bowles had no immediate update on the two.
Lyn, who was practicing with the Jets on Friday, had three interceptions and 20 passes defensed in 38 games at Syracuse. He was signed by Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent last year, and was most recently with the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena League.
NOTES: Bowles said WR Chris Owusu left practice after he got “a little dinged up in the head.” That likely means he’ll have to go through the league’s mandatory concussion protocol before he returns to practice. … WR Shaq Evans sat out with bruised ribs. … Bowles said DE Muhammad Wilkerson had an MRI on his tweaked hamstring, but said the results were negative. Wilkerson, still seeking a long-term deal, hasn’t practiced since last week — but Bowles doesn’t believe the injury has anything to do with his contract situation.
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