HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma will miss
New York's game against Buffalo on Sunday with a knee injury.
Vilma, who missed practice all week, was listed as out on the
team's injury report Friday and it's uncertain how long the former
Pro Bowl linebacker will be sidelined.
He was injured sometime during the Jets' loss at Cincinnati last
Sunday, when he was removed from the game for a stretch in the
second half. The Jets have remained typically tightlipped about the
injury, but coach Eric Mangini provided some hope in his press
conference earlier in the day.
"You don't rule anybody out in terms of injuries," Mangini
said. "It's too different person by person. It's something that if
you go one way, a lot of time, the opposite happens. So we always
go through the full process, the full level of rehab."
Apparently, that process ended sometime Friday when it was
determined Vilma wasn't going to be able to play. Published reports
have speculated the injury could be serious and potentially require
season-ending surgery, but Mangini has been evasive when asked if
that's a possibility.
Vilma hasn't been available to the media since Sunday. Several
messages and e-mails left for Tony Fleming, one of Vilma's
representatives, weren't immediately answered.
Rookie David Harris, the Jets' second-round draft pick out of
Michigan, will take Vilma's spot in the starting lineup against the
Bills. The hard-hitting Harris has 24 tackles in limited time this
It's uncertain at what point Vilma's injury occurred and Mangini
has declined to say whether it is to the linebacker's right or left
knee. Except for a stretch during the third quarter at Cincinnati,
Vilma was on the field for most of the defensive plays.
Since being chosen in the first round in the 2004 draft, Vilma
has played in every Jets game and started all but two. After
establishing himself as one of the best playmaking linebackers in
the league during his first two seasons, Vilma has struggled to be
as effective in Mangini's 3-4 defensive scheme. He's fifth on the
team with 39 tackles.