Jets OLB Quinton Coples to miss 3-4 weeks with ankle fracture
The second-year defensive player Coples was injured when he rushed Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne and fell awkwardly after blocking the pass with about five minutes remaining in the second quarter. Coples spent some time pacing up and down the sidelines after being examined by team trainers. He eventually retired to the locker room for further evaluation of the injured ankle.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said after Saturday’s game that he won’t have any further information on Coples ankle injury until the next day. Meanwhile, ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that Coples suffered a hairline fracture to his right ankle and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks while rehabbing. The good news is the ankle injury will not require surgery.
Coples will remain sidelined for the rest of the preseason and will even miss the Jet’s regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 8.
It is a big loss for the Jets as Coples was projected to play a bigger and more versatile role in the defense this season. The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Coples was still learning to play at his new position after the team shifted him to the rush outside linebacker spot in their 3-4 defense this offseason. It was a crucial move by the Jets since their defense lacked speed and a true edge rusher throughout the unit last season.
However, Coples had at times been struggling to set the edge as an outside linebacker, due to which – despite praising the player – Ryan at time also appeared frustrated with him this offseason. Coples will still often play at his old spot along the line this season.
Drafted by the Jets with the 16th overall pick in 2012, Coples lined up at defensive end as rookie while appearing in all 16 games with two starts last season. He recorded 30 tackles and 5½ sacks on the year.
Antwan Barnes, who is second on the depth chart and took over from Coples following Saturday’s ankle injury, is likely to fill in at open linebacker spot with Coples expected to miss the start of regular season. The seventh-year pro Barnes joined the Jets this offseason after spending the past three seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Barnes also previously played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens during his NFL career.