Among the major injuries suffered through six weeks of the NFL regular season, perhaps none has been more significant than Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis' ACL tear that has shelved him for the balance of 2012.
Revis is widely regarded as the top cornerback in football, and is arguably the best defensive player in the NFL, regardless of position.
He's missed each of the team's previous three games, though the secondary has managed to hold their opponents to an average of just under 211 passing yards per game in his absence.
Coach Bill Belichick, when discussing the way the Jets' defense has adjusted without Revis, noted that Antonio Cromartie has absorbed the top cornerback duties.
"First of all, they're kind of a game plan defense, so they attack teams differently depending on what those teams do, so I don't know how they would or wouldn't have attacked them if they had a different combination of players," Belichick said of the Jets playing without Reivs. "But that being said, they basically match (Antonio) Cromartie to the opponent's top receiver, or the guy they want to put him on, and Kyle Wilson has gone opposite of him, and then Ellis Lankster has really taken over as the third corner, although they play a lot of five, six, seven at-times DB personnel groupings depending on the situation, but also the personnel group of the offense out there."
Cromartie has stepped up to the task, notching interceptions in each of the Jets' past two games. Belichick says he's a talented cornerback who is a threat with the football in his hands.
"He has very good ball skills, and when he gets around the ball, he can catch it like he did against us last year," he said. "We had a tipped ball down there, and he's got very good hand-eye coordination, good ball skills, he's a big guy. When he gets the ball in his hands, he's a very good runner, returner, he has a little bit of that background. He's having a good year. They're asking him to do a lot, and he's stepping up and doing it."