The Jets' defense suffered a major blow today as safety Jim Leonhard will miss Monday's game against New England and probably more. He injured his shin in a collision during practice with WR Patrick Turner. There's no word on how long he will be out, but as the Jets' on-field defensive playcaller, starting safety, and primary punt returner, this is a big loss.
In his place, both Brodney Pool and Eric Smith will start at safety. Look for Smith or LB David Harris to make the playcalls in Leonhard's place.
However, don't expect Kyle Wilson to return punts. Mike Westhoff says he's been disappointed with the rookie returning punts. Instead, look for Jerricho Cotchery, Antonio Cromartie, or Santonio Holmes to return punts. In such a big game, the Jets are more likely to use one of their stars at punt returner because they could use any edge they can get.
But make no mistake about it, Leonhard's injury is a big blow to a secondary that had already had its fair share of communication issues this season.
UPDATE: The Daily News Reports that Leonhard is out for the season. The "severe shin injury" has now turned into a broken tibia, also known as a broken leg.