Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Sep 2010

Kris Jenkins Tears ACL

Jets defensive lineman Kris Jenkins has torn his left ACL for the second consecutive season and will miss the remainder of the 2010 campaign.

The Jets' defensive starters only missed 15 games last year -- Jenkins missed ten, and cornerback Lito Sheppard missed five. With Jenkins about to go on injured reserve and Calvin Pace having missed Week 1, they're guaranteed to miss at least 16 already, and there's one game in the books.

Meanwhile, the Jets might not actually end up missing Jenkins all that much. Last year, with Jenkins in the lineup, Gang Green's run defense DVOA was -6.4%, 18th in the league. After he was placed on injured reserve, they improved to a -15.3% DVOA, which was third in the league.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 14 Sep 2010

32 comments, Last at 18 Sep 2010, 3:13pm by Eddo


by Led :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 12:57pm

Calvin Pace missed 4 games with a suspension and Sean Ellis missed a game with a suspension. Not injuries, but they have the same effect.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 1:00pm

just bizarre, when viewed in real time game speed and then in walk offs ---
he looked halfway ok limping off the field in that when it looked like an obvious acl sprain/tear immediately, weaver was crying like the worst thing he ever experienced, and looked like he simultaneously hyperextended, tore at least the ACL, possibly detached the patella tendon, and probably broke both bones in his lower leg yet supposedly only tore his acl too ?

Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.

by BucNasty :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 4:10pm

I'm not exactly Will Carroll, but I was under the impression that ACL tears usually happen when the knee is hit from the side or from twisting the leg, not from hyperextension. I know from watching enough UFC that a badly hyperextended limb results in broken bones, but I'm not sure how it affects tendons or ligaments.

by dbostedo :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 8:57am

I've had friends walk pretty normally off the field with only some pain only to find out they tore their ACL. It doesn't always appear to be catastrophic in that you can be pretty mobile and still have the injury.

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 8:04pm

i've done my left acl twice and my right once. It was all about the cartilidge, and when that got torn or pushed around as far as pain and decreased mobility.

The ligaments stop the knee joint from getting misaligned, which protects the cartilidge from getting torn or jammed. Once the acl is gone, the knee is unstable. Some, like Hines Ward, are okay to play with no acl as they use their leg muscles to control the alignment of their knee.

by Dean :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:53pm

30+ comments for a relatively no-name RB, and 2 (now 3) for someone who was at one time one of the most dominant players at his position?

Even at FO, the "skill guys" still get all the pub.

by Theo :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 4:56pm

It's on here only for a few hours.
Really, stop complaining. Life is good.
(or is my sarcasmeter off?)

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 6:04pm

And Besides, Jenkins has about as many ACL tears as games started in his career. Football simply isn't a good sport for him to be playing, since his body clearly can't handle it.

"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

by Arkaein :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 6:22pm

If a RB that posts back-to-back 1200+ yard seasons following a 200 yard, 3 TD playoff game performance is no-name to you, maybe you should follow the sport more closely.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 8:22pm

He exagerated (and I think was poking fun in any case), but his fundamental point is correct: a healthy Kris Jenkins (even now) is an insanely dominant player, perhaps the best in the league at his position. Ryan Grant is a decidedly average player who's been in a great situation for a couple of years and put up gaudy numbers because of it.

by Shattenjager :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 2:13am

Why are you discussing mythical creatures?

by Bobby Womack (not verified) :: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 10:05am

Hyperbole alert!! Jenkins hasn't been the best at his position (which is arguable in the first place) in years. Wilfork, Ratliff, Aubrayo Franklin are all better by a large margin.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 11:46am

The last full game I watched Jenkins play was last season's opener in Houston. He was ridiculous. He was in the backfield almost instantaneously on what seemed like every play, utterly destroying any possibility of the offense functioning, pass or run. Franklin and Wilfork, as great as they are, don't do that, ever. They don't have the same explosiveness. Ratliff does get a lot more penetration, but I've still never seen him take over a game in quite the same way. I've seen Shaun Rogers do it, and Haynesworth. Actually, as of right now I'm inclined to think the best DT in the league is either Dockett or Ngata, but that's by the by.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 3:03pm

Well Wilfork and Franklin aren't supposed to crash into the backfield. They're supposed to occupy two blockers so that the linebackers can do that.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 4:05pm

Sure, and that's their primary function, and that makes them very valuable, but the very, very best nose tackles take on double teams and still get into the backfield and cause chaos. They don't just allow the defense to work; on their best days they damn near prevent the offense from working. Hampton did it throughout the Steelers 2005 playoff run, against a series of pro bowl centers to boot, and to my mind would have been a far better choice for Superbowl MVP than Ward. Even great anchors aren't as valuable as guys who can do more than just anchor, largely because the latter can have a real impact in the passing game.

by Bobby Wommack (not verified) :: Fri, 09/17/2010 - 4:10pm

So two years ago Jenkins had a good game against the Texans o-line and that's why he's still the most dominate player at his position?

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 09/18/2010 - 9:52am

Well, it's about a month before the last full game he played, so it's really not far from being the most recent data we have. He also looked awesome for his three minutes or whatever it was against Baltimore last weekend.

As pointed out above, it's really a slightly daft counterfactual, because there's no such animal as a healthy Kris Jenkins and probably never will be again. But at last count, a healthy Kris Jenkins was a helluva player.

by Eddo :: Sat, 09/18/2010 - 3:13pm

When did people start using "dominate" when they mean "dominant"? This is a really common, really incorrect usage of the word.

by ChiJeff (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 4:11pm

Alot of big players are injured and may be gone for the season. Add Bob Sanders to that list as well. And fans and media and owners think an 18 game schedule is a good idea?
Worse, Jerry Jones mentioned that the league could get as many as 22 games a season if the owners desired. Better expand rosters to 300 players.

by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:33pm

This is exactly why I question the truth behind the notion of an expanded schedule leading to more revenue. There are going to be more injuries and more season ending injuries. This then allows 2nd string players to get playing time. If one of them should do good, there will then be a good contract awaiting them. The big possibility of having to put out more 'starter' contracts could increase the cost past the new revenue. But I am sure that they have thought of that already, right??

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 8:26pm

Um, no. Assuming the new CBA has a salary cap, the maximum total amount received by players leaguewide annually will be fixed as a percentage of leaguewide revenue (or perhaps league-wide shared revenue). It's a zero sum game: more money for one player means less money for another. The owners can't lose, in that sense.

by QCIC (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:59pm

If they play 22 games the players won't play as hard and there will be fewer injuries. Have you sent he NBA, or worse yet the MLB? They take weeks off, much less games.

I don't see how injuries and the number of games are related unless it is very important to you to have a particular group of players playing.

Having 9 guys sent to IR each year instead of 8 is not some major catastrophe.

by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 7:45pm

First, comparing MLB and NBA to the NFL in this context is probably not valid. The amount of hard contact in those sports is negligible compared to NFL. Better comparison would be to the NHL, where they are not accused of taking time off. Most analysts who have played the game say that this is because of the amount of contact. Taking plays off or even playing them at 50% effort they say leads to injuries. So your solution, by the accounts of those who played the game, would actually lead to a worse situation.

Second, it is not just important to any of us fans, but to the team. Statistics show that offensive line play and defensive play in general is based upon having a cohesive unit. You know what takes away cohesion? Injuries.

Lastly, it depends on who that 9th guy is.

by QCIC (not verified) :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 3:49am

I play hockey regularly (3 times a week) with professional players. Their accounts of the effort level throughout the season are different from yours. The word pacing is used quite a lot. There is a noticeable difference between them going 80% and 95% and I can tell you during the regular season much of the time they are going 80%.

by Jerry :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 3:56am

Just curious - what level of professional players?

by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 1:28pm

I should have been more clear. My NHL reference only went as to the perception that they do not take 'time off' during the season. The remarks about analysts were directed only towards NFL and not NHL analysts. It is the NFL ex-player analysts who, near unanimously, say that playing with half effort gets you injured. Personally, I do believe that there are many positions that could go at half speed, but not in the trenches, at RB or at QB. Not coincidentally, those are the positions where there is often a significant drop off between starters and replacement.

by RichC (not verified) :: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 9:28am

"Second, it is not just important to any of us fans, but to the team. Statistics show that offensive line play and defensive play in general is based upon having a cohesive unit. You know what takes away cohesion? Injuries."

Statistics don't show that at all.

by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 3:42pm

Statistics do not show that having injuries which leads to replacing players leads to decreased output by the teams??
Wow, missed that memo...

by Theo :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:02pm

"Last year, with Jenkins in the lineup, Gang Green's run defense DVOA was -6.4%, 18th in the league. After he was placed on injured reserve, they improved to a -15.3% DVOA, which was third in the league."

Really? There's no exra data for that? IT's that easy? Who was his backup, where is he now?
I'm ok with the data, but this seems lazy stat reading really.

by QCIC (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 6:00pm

And what about the pass D, other injuries, et cetera?

by KyMon7 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 3:58pm

Sione Pouha replaced him on the d-line and the jets pass d ranked number 1 i the league

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 8:32pm

The Jets compensated admirably, and Pouha's not a bad player. Jenkins still beat the Texans pretty much single-handedly (Schaub never had the ball for long enough for Revis' coverage of Johnson to even be an issue), and I have a tough time believing that the Jets' defense wouldn't have been even better with him in, and significantly so.