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Eric Smith, Jets safety, reportedly out for preseason


The New York Jets could be without the services of safety Eric Smith for the remainder of the preseason, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Saturday.

Smith, a Rex Ryan favorite, suffered a left medial collateral ligament injury and a hip contusion during the second quarter of Friday night's preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Smith was hurt while making a tackle on a punt return. He told Mehta after the game that he felt "a sharp pain" as he walked around New York's locker room with a visible limp. MRI results were negative. Smith already played through a meniscus tear in the left knee last season.

The Jets might have football's top cornerback combination in Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, but the situation at safety is less secure. The team is hoping LaRon Landry can stay healthy at strong safety across from starter Yeremiah Bell.

It's a painful loss for a Jets defense that might be asked to rescue the offense from the outset this season.

Smith, in his seventh NFL season, is being counted on to provide depth and figures to see plenty of snaps, especially in a division that houses a pair of teams in the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills who run no-huddle, spread offenses. The Jets, by the way, open the regular season against the Bills.