The news of Quinton Coples' injury is getting worse.
Jets say Quinton Coples will have a procedure on his ankle on Tuesday & will miss the preseason. Out indefinitely.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 18, 2013
Coples missing any time will be rough on this defense. The early returns on his move to outside linebacker are mixed, but the Jets are really thin at the position. They can't afford to lose Coples for any period of time as in the team is going to be putting out players who do not have any business seeing regular NFL playing time at both outside linebacker spots. That is unless you believe Calvin Pace is going to suddenly reverse his steep decline at age 32.
More than his positional role, the Jets were counting on Coples to carry a big part of the defensive load. Without Darrelle Revis, the Jets are not going to be able to get away with running subpar pass rushers out there if they want a defense that can carry a shaky looking offense. When you have Revis and Antonio Cromartie, your coverage can be so good that you can get away with bad pass rushers. Not so much with just Cromartie. Though we should all be excited about Dee Milliner's long-term potential, it probably is not realistic for him to come in and be a top ten cornerback in his rookie season. There is going to be a learning curve to some extent, and it might be a steep one. The Jets are counting on Coples to make up for that by beefing up the pass rush to protect the corners. It has been a long time since this team had a guy who could both consistently get to the quarterback and stay on the field on early downs.
The Jets really need the big guy in the lineup and producing. There is just not much depth anywhere on the roster. Any path to a surprising season involved getting lucky with injuries. This is not great news.