Jets' Damien Woody out indefinitely

Updated: December 14, 2010, 10:06 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets, already struggling on offense, will likely lose right tackle Damien Woody for the remainder of the regular season.

Woody said Monday that he will have arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday morning. He said there is no timetable for his return.

"I'm definitely going to try to get back as soon as possible," Woody said. "It's all about how I respond."

Head coach Rex Ryan admitted the obvious, that Woody wouldn't play Sunday in Pittsburgh, but he declined to rule him out beyond that.

Woody suffered a partial tear to his MCL. He said the scope will allow doctors to "clean out" other debris in his knee.

Woody, the senior member of a durable offensive line, re-injured his right knee in the first quarter on Sunday's 10-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins. He didn't return to the game, saying afterward that his knee "locked up." He underwent an MRI exam Monday morning, revealing the damage.

He initially injured the knee on Nov. 21 against the Houston Texans. It was diagnosed as a sprained MCL. Woody wasn't expected to play the next game, but he played every snap against the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots.

Woody didn't practice leading into the Miami game, leading to speculation that he had suffered a setback. He tried to play against the Dolphins, but he came out after two series. He was replaced by career backup Wayne Hunter, who allowed three of the Jets' six sacks.

Right guard Brandon Moore, who has started alongside Woody for 45 consecutive games, said: "It's a huge blow. He's one of the top tackles in the league. Of course, there's a dropoff, but Wayne has been doing a good job and he's been taking all the reps in practice."

Hunter probably will start at right tackle Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It will be his first career start. The Jets (9-4) have gone two straight games without scoring a touchdown, and they now face one of the best defenses on the road.

The last time a starter missed a game was the 2007 finale, but that was a coach's decision. Adrien Clarke was benched for performance. The last time a starter missed a game due to injury was left guard Pete Kendall in 2006. He missed two games with a broken foot.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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