Kris Jenkins Hangs Up His Very Large Jersey

Jenkins calls it quits after two straight season-ending injuries

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011  |  Updated 4:01 PM EDT
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Kris Jenkins Hangs Up His Very Large Jersey

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Running backs won't have to worry about Jenkins smothering them anymore.

Check your watches, boys and girls, because you'll want to mark the time that we had our first actual football news to report since the draft.

Kris Jenkins took to his Facebook page on Wednesday to announce that he is ending his professional football career after 10 seasons as one of the better defensive tackles in football. The last three of those seasons were with the Jets, but he was in the trainer's room a lot more often than he was on the field.

Jenkins tore the ACL in each of the last two seasons, limiting him to seven games overall and just a few minutes of the 2011 season opener before reinjuring himself against the Ravens. Jenkins tore his ACL a third time earlier in his career and said on Facebook that his "mind is always willing to play but my body deserves the rest."

The Jets released Jenkins before the lockout was instituted in February so it isn't like they were holding out hope for a triumphant comeback this season. There was a chance he'd return, but there wasn't much chance he'd return to be the dominant force in the middle of the line that he was in his first two years with the team.

Replacing Jenkins won't be easy, although the last two years have provided ample opportunity for Sione Pouha to prove that he's capable of performing at a relatively high level. It's not quite Jenkins's level, teams don't game plan around stopping Pouha, but it was high enough for the team to win four playoff games and that's not nothing.

It would help them even more if rookie Kenrick Ellis, this year's third-round pick, was able to live up to the better parts of his scouting report. He's got the same kind of size and athleticism that made Jenkins such a force, but he comes with some serious question marks that mean anything he gives them is a bonus.

Ellis was forced to leave South Carolina for repeatedly violating team rules and still faces a trial for felony assault while at Hampton. That trial was delayed until November 28th recently, so it will be hanging over everyone's head this season as will the possibility that Ellis, who was born in Jamaica and isn't a U.S. citizen, could be deported if he's convicted of a felony.

Jenkins might have served as an insurance policy against Ellis flaming out, but now the Jets will have to look in a different direction if they desire a backup plan.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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