Jets WR Eric Decker is out Sunday against the Seahawks due to a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, head coach Todd Bowles said.
Decker will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis and it's too soon to know whether he'll need surgery for the injury, according to Bowles.
"I'm not sure," Bowles said when asked if it could be a season-ending injury. "They have to monitor it. Some people have played with it. We have to see how it goes."
Decker, who missed his third straight day of practice on Friday told the media afterwards that his injury "sucks" but he's going to at least try to play through it in the hopes of avoiding surgery.
"At this point, it's just week-to-week," he said. "See if I end up making any progress. ... It's a matter of how much (of a tear), how manageable (the pain is), and what I need to do to get my strength back. It's going to be a group decision, but medically based. It will mostly come down to how I feel."
Decker had a shoulder issue heading into the Jets' 24-3 loss in Kansas City and aggravated it during the game, Bowles said Wednesday.
This is an enormous blow to what once looked like a dangerous Jets offense. Decker has been just as good as Brandon Marshall over the last year or so, even though Marshall's numbers have been better. In fact, Decker's red-zone numbers have been the best on the team.
He is a tremendous second option in the passing game -- as good as almost any in the NFL -- which has helped open things up for everyone else, and has made life much easier for Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Worse for the Jets, replacing him will almost be impossible.
Quincy Enunwa has begun to emerge as a good No. 3 receiver this season, but he has 39 NFL catches on his resume and to expect him to take over for Decker seems like a difficult task. Meanwhile, as Enunwa moves up, the Jets will have to dip real far down their depth chart for a replacement because rookie Jalin Marshall (shoulder) is out too. That means undrafted rookie Robby Anderson will likely step in to a sizable role he wasn't expected to play at all this season. None of that is good.
The Jets looked like a dangerous team with Marshall, Decker and running back Matt Forte forming a Big 3 and their task gets incredibly tougher now that they're a Big 2. Marshall will see far more double teams and Forte won't have as much open room coming out of the backfield. Since in the next three weeks they face two Top 10 defenses (Seattle, Arizona) and the always tough Pittsburgh Steelers, the loss of Decker really couldn't have come at a worse time.
As Ralph points out, the Jets must ask Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson to take on a much more prominent role than would otherwise be expected of them. While this is certainly not good news for the Jets, remember that they were without Decker last year in Week 3 against the Eagles -- a game the Jets did lose by seven points. But during that game, Enunwa had five catches and Bilal Powell played a more prominent role before he really came on at the end of last season.
My point is that despite some of what we saw last week from OC Chan Gailey's gameplan and Ryan Fitzpatrick's execution of it, there are enough other options in the Jets offense that they could leverage … if only they would leverage them.
Also keep in mind that the Jets are going up against one of the best defenses in the league. So while losing Decker at any point it is bad news, it puts even more pressure on the Jets' secondary (and tertiary) parts of their offense.