Team's Most Dependable Lineman To Have Surgery After Playing Through Painful Shoulder Injury Most Of The Season

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It has been that kind of season for the Jets.

Sitting at 3-8 and losers of five straight, the Jets will almost certainly miss the playoffs for the eighth straight season. On Wednesday, reports surfaced saying they’ll be without a key part of their offensive line the rest of the way.

Left guard James Carpenter, who had started 58 consecutive games for the Jets since signing with the club back in March of 2015, will be placed on season-ending injured reserve due to a shoulder injury that will require surgery.

The 29-year-old lineman, who will be a free agent at season’s end, had been playing with the ailment all season, the Daily News reported.

“It’s difficult because he doesn’t talk… and he’ll run through a brick wall,” head coach Todd Bowles told the newspaper last week. “You have to protect him from himself sometimes… and pull him back because he’s never going to pull himself off the field. You love that part of it for the courageousness, but you don’t like it if it’s a hindrance to him and it’s going to affect the team.

“I know how he plays… and when I watch the film, I can see whether it’s a big difference or whether he’s nicked up and he can get by,” Bowles added. “I can tell the difference between that.”

The injury leaves a big hole on the line, one that will likely be filled by Spencer Long, who played center most of the season before shifting to left guard during last week’s 27-13 loss to visiting New England. Jonotthan Harrison is expected to start at center for the rest of the season.

The Jets will likely make revamping their offensive line a priority during the offseason, when they are expected to have close to $100 million in salary cap space to spend in free agency. The plan is to put the best players they can around young quarterback Sam Darnold, who is currently sidelined with a foot injury but could play Sunday at Tennessee.