One week after becoming a late downgrade from probable to questionable, and eventually out, for the Raiders game, WR Stephen Hill (knee) has been placed on our Injured Reserve list, ending the second-year wide receiver's season three games early.
"This young man's been battling the whole year," head coach Rex Ryan said today. "He's had some swelling in his knees. He'd come back, he'd rehab, get back. But it just seemed like almost any time that he would do a football-related activity, whether it was practice or, more specifically, games, his knee would swell."
"I didn't think it was going to end up this way," Hill said. "I really thought I was going to just ride it out until the season ended. But Coach [Sanjay Lal] kind of noticed that things weren't right and he didn't want to mess me up for future things, so he just told me that we're just going to take this move and just move on. He really wants me to play, but it's just one of those deals where I'm not getting better keeping pounding on it."
Hill's 24 receptions and 342 yards rank third among our wide receivers and tight ends, but his production tapered off as the season went on.
He caught 13 balls for 233 yards (17.9 avg.) with 1 TD in Weeks 1-3. Those numbers dipped to 11 catches, 109 yards (9.9 avg.) and 0 TDs in Weeks 4-13, before he was eventually inactive for Oakland.
"Obviously, there are frustrations from his point, from everybody's point, because we're waiting for him to take the next step that you would take and it just hasn't happened," Ryan said. "Hopefully with this, we'll get him back and we'll get him healthy and be ready to roll next season."
Saalim Hakim has replaced Hill on our 53-man active roster, rounding out a receiving corps that includes Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson and Greg Salas.
The 23-year-old Hakim has been a member of our practice squad since Oct. 10. He checks in at 5'11", 188, but he compensates for his size with his speed, having reportedly run as fast as a 4.23 40-yard dash during his pro day workout.
The first-year player out of Palomar College signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in April 2012, and he had stints with the St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints before beginning his Green & White tenure.
It's unknown what Hakim's role might be on offense or special teams for Sunday's game at Carolina, assuming he's active, but Rex said, "We'll see what he can do as a kickoff returner."
As for the health of the other 52 Jets, everyone is listed as probable other than CB Antonio Cromartie (hip/concussion), who is questionable.
Cro "was limited today so we'll see how that is," Rex said. "Again, he's got to pass the concussion protocol and that goes into right before the game."
TE Kellen Winslow also practiced on a limited basis today, while Holmes, Kerley, Ed Reed and the rest of the Green & White squad participated fully.
The Carolina Panthers will be without RB Jonathan Stewart for this week's game, but everyone else on their injury report is listed as probable.