FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Things just got a lot tougher for the struggling New York Jets.
Wide receiver Santonio Holmes will miss the rest of this season with an injured left foot, leaving the Jets without their top offensive playmaker. The team announced Wednesday that Holmes will require surgery and was placed on season-ending injured reserve.
"Obviously, that's a big loss for us," coach Rex Ryan said. "Santonio's one of the top receivers in the game, and it is a big loss."
And, that's quite the understatement.
The news came just over a week after star cornerback Darrelle Revis was likely lost for the season with a torn ligament in his left knee — although the Jets haven't placed him on IR yet, in case, Ryan said, he recovers in time to play in the Super Bowl.
But that leaves the Jets (2-2) now without their best players on defense and offense as they try to return to the playoffs this year after missing out last season. Ryan insisted, however, that the team's expectations have not changed.
"We have to rally around each other, for sure," Ryan said, comparing the situation in 2009 when the Jets lost nose tackle Kris Jenkins and running back Leon Washington in consecutive weeks — and still made it to the AFC championship game.
"It does test the resolve of your team, but that's one of our strengths," Ryan added. "It's unfortunate, but that's what happens."
Ryan also pointed out that, despite their struggles, the Jets still lead the AFC East with a 2-0 record in the division.
"Woe is me?" Ryan said defiantly. "How many people are going to feel sorry for the New York Jets? Myself, I know the answer to that: Nobody."
Holmes went down on the first play of the fourth quarter of the Jets' 34-0 loss to San Francisco on Sunday after catching a short pass that he tossed away for a fumble that was returned 51 yards for a touchdown by Carlos Rogers. X-rays on the foot were negative, meaning there were no broken bones, but the MRI exam results were sent to a foot specialist in North Carolina and the Jets' worst fears were confirmed.
"Thanks for the love, prayers, and support from friends and fans," Holmes wrote on his Twitter page. "Time heals all wounds."
Ryan confirmed that it is a Lisfranc injury, which usually involves a sprain or tear of the ligament in the middle of the foot that holds the first two toes together. Recovery time depends on whether there is a dislocation or fracture, and whether surgery — including screws inserted — is needed.
"My understanding is that he's going to be back and make a full recovery," Ryan said. "We have confidence he'll make a full recovery and be ready to roll next year."
Oakland wide receiver Jacoby Ford is out for the year with a similar injury, while Houston quarterback Matt Schaub and Raiders running back Darren McFadden are back after missing time last season with Lisfranc injuries. Other players have also rebounded from it, including Michael Strahan, Brian Westbrook and Ronnie Brown.
New York signed free agent wide receiver Jason Hill to help make up for the loss of Holmes. The Jets are alarmingly thin at the position with rookie Stephen Hill still recovering from a hamstring injury, leaving Chaz Schilens, Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates as the only healthy receivers on the roster before the move to sign Jason Hill.
Tight end Dustin Keller, one of quarterback Mark Sanchez's favorite targets, has missed a few games with a hamstring injury and is uncertain to play in the team's Monday night matchup with undefeated Houston.
Holmes leads the Jets with 20 catches for 272 yards and a touchdown this season. He and Sanchez had their best game together since 2010 two weeks ago at Miami, when Holmes caught nine passes for 147 yards.