The New York Jets placed outside linebacker Antwan Barnes on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday because of a knee injury.
Barnes, one of the team's top pass rushers, was hurt in the fourth quarter of New York's 30-28 victory at Atlanta on Monday night. He was trying to get to quarterback Matt Ryan when his right knee went out on him, and he went down on the turf.
"That's a tough loss," coach Rex Ryan said. "Talk about an underrated player. It wasn't just the production that he had, but the production he caused. ... We're certainly going to miss him."
Barnes, signed in the offseason after spending the last three years with San Diego, had two sacks this season.
"Hope he has a speedy recovery and he's a Jet next year," Ryan said.
Barnes said on Twitter that his spirits are still high, and thanked everyone for their support before adding: "I will be back."
The Jets re-signed linebacker Ricky Sapp to help offset the loss of Barnes. New York also signed defensive tackle T.J. Barnes to the practice squad, and released defensive tackle Junior Aumavae from the practice squad.
Antwan Barnes was the second Jets player to go on IR in two days, after the Jets announced that quarterback Mark Sanchez had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday.
Sanchez was injured in the fourth quarter of the Jets' third preseason game against the Giants, playing with mostly backups in the game. Ryan took a lot of criticism for putting Sanchez in the game in the situation.
"We're thinking that he has a good opportunity to have a full recovery from this," Ryan said, "and certainly he'll have the support of this entire organization from anything rehab-wise or anything else. He'll have this organization's complete support that way to getting him back until he's 100 percent."
Ryan wouldn't commit to Sanchez being a member of the team beyond this season, despite him having three more years left on his contract. Sanchez could be an offseason salary dump, especially since he would have a $13.1 million salary cap number for 2014.
"I don't want to get into that," Ryan said, before later adding: "Whether he's here or whatever, our thing is doing what's best for Mark, which would be to get him healthy."