Meriweather sidelined with ankle injury

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets had to be pleased to see the New England Patriots scratch slot receiver extraordinaire Wes Welker before the game.

Another nice sight has been Patriots strong safety Brandon Meriweather, standing on the sideline with his helmet off.

Meriweather suffered an ankle injury on Leon Washington's 40-yard kickoff return late in the first quarter. Meriweather's status has been announced as questionable.

He's one of the Patriots' best defenders, maybe one of its best two in Sunday afternoon's starting lineup with linebacker Jerod Mayo already out with a knee injury.

Meriweather had a team-high eight tackles, including one for a loss, in Monday night's victory over the Buffalo Bills. He made the initial hit that stood up kick returner Leodis McKelvin on that fateful fumbled inside the final two minutes.

Brandon McGowan, a hard-hitting safety formerly of the Chicago Bears, has replaced Meriweather.