Jets’ Decker will miss rest of sea­son

Decker’s sea­son-end­ing surgery on ro­ta­tor cuff leaves void at wide re­ceiver

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Den­nis Waszak Jr. AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK >> The New York Jets’ strug­gling of­fense will be with­out one of its big­gest play­mak­ers for the rest of the sea­son.

Wide re­ceiver Eric Decker was placed on in­jured re­serve Wednes­day with a par­tially torn ro­ta­tor cuff in his right shoul­der, and will have sea­son-end­ing surgery.

Decker was in­ac­tive the past two weeks after ini­tially be­ing in­jured at Buf­falo in Week 2 and the shoul­der wors­en­ing at Kansas City the fol­low­ing week.

Last week, coach Todd Bowles said it was still “too early to tell” whether Decker would be placed on IR, which would mean he would have to sit out at least eight weeks.

The wide re­ceiver, whose sta­tus was called by the team “weekto-week” with the in­jury, said last Thurs­day that his mind­set was that “I want to get back on the field, yes,” but was uncer­tain as to whether that would be pos­si­ble this sea­son.

It’s a huge blow to the Jets, who have not been the dy­namic of­fense they were last sea­son with Decker, fel­low re­ceiver Bran­don Mar­shall and quar­ter­back Ryan Fitz­patrick lead­ing the way.

Decker had nine catches for 194 yards and two touch­downs in three games. He had 80 re­cep­tions for 1,027 yards and 12 scores — in­clud­ing a team-record 10 scor­ing grabs in­side the op­po­nents’ 20-yard line — last sea­son as he and Mar­shall com­bined for 26 TDs. Decker signed as a free agent with the Jets in 2014 after four sea­sons in Den­ver and has been one of the NFL’s most-pro­duc­tive re­ceivers in that time with 163 re­cep­tions for 2,183 yards.

Decker’s ab­sence has had a no­tice­able ef­fect on the Jets, who have scored a to­tal of seven points in the sec­ond half in the past three games since a 37-31 win at Buf­falo in Week 2 in which New York put up 17 points after half­time.

Quincy Enunwa has served in

the No. 2 role since Decker was hurt, and leads the Jets with 27 catches. But other than Enunwa and Mar­shall, who has 24 re­cep­tions, New York has mostly in­ex­pe­ri­enced

re­ceivers left on its ros­ter.

Sev­enth-round pick Charone Peake (four catches, 36 yards) and un­drafted free agents Robby An­der­son (five for 56) and Jalin Mar­shall (five for 64) are among the Jets’ re­main­ing re­ceivers — but Jalin Mar­shall has missed the past two

games with a torn labrum.

New York also signed for­mer Tampa Bay re­ceiver Jeremy But­ler on Tues­day, and cut Jeremy Ross. But­ler had 31 catches for 363 yards last sea­son for Bal­ti­more, which signed him as an un­drafted free agent out of Ten­nessee-Mar­tin in 2014, but cut him this sum­mer

after train­ing camp.

The Jets signed cor­ner­back Nick Mar­shall off Jack­sonville’s prac­tice squad Wednes­day to fill Decker’s ros­ter spot.

New York has lost three straight games to fall to 1-4 on the sea­son, with a road game at Ari­zona on Mon­day night up next.

BILL KOSTROUN — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A De­cem­ber 2015 photo shows Jets wide re­ceived Eric Decker be­fore the team’s game against the Giants in East Rutherford, N.J.

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