NEW YORK (AP) — Rex Ryan and the New York Jets will be without one of their key defensive players for a while.
Linebacker Quinton Coples, the team's sacks leader last season as a rookie, is out indefinitely with an ankle injury that will require surgery.
The Jets announced Sunday night that Coples, injured in the team's 37-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night, will have a "medical procedure" on his right ankle Tuesday and miss the remainder of the preseason.
The team did not announce the nature of the injury, but it is believed to be a hairline fracture. That could keep him out for at least the regular-season opener at home against Tampa Bay on Sept. 8.
Coples was hurt late in the second quarter when he batted down a pass by Chad Henne and landed awkwardly. Ryan actually challenged the call, thinking it might have been a forced fumble and recovery by Coples, but officials upheld their initial decision that it was an incomplete pass.
Coples limped off the field after the play and was immediately examined by team trainers on the sideline. After a few minutes, Coples walked along the sideline before being taken to the locker room — without a sock or cleat on — for further tests.
The loss of Coples, even for just a few weeks, is a major blow for Ryan's defense which is counting on a big season from their first-round pick last year. Coples, out of North Carolina, had a team-high 5 1/2 sacks a year ago while lining up primarily at defensive end.