The New York Jets continue to lose players during a season that threatens to float off the rails.
Nose tackle Kenrick Ellis will miss four to six weeks with the medial collateral ligament injury he suffered against the Houston Texans on Monday night. Jets coach Rex Ryan called it a "significant" setback, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
The loss of Ellis doesn't help a New York defense already ranked 31st in the NFL against the run. The Jets have been slapped around for 172.4 rushing yards per game but face an equally banged-up Indianapolis Colts backfield that will start Vick Ballard on Sunday.
Safety Eric Smith won't play in the game after spraining his knee during Wednesday's practice. Ryan called it a "scary moment" but said Smith's injury doesn't appear to be serious.
Ryan told reporters he believes wide receiver Stephen Hill will face the Colts along with center Nick Mangold, who's walking around with a nasty ankle injury suffered against the Texans. Mangold is the Jets' toughest player and also sports a flowing beard that harks back to older, more glorious times. All is not lost in Florham Park.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.