Leonhard breaks leg in practice

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 8:28 PM ET

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - New York Jets safety/punt returner Jim Leonhard suffered a fractured right tibia during Friday's practice and is set to have surgery.

Leonhard, of course, will miss Monday's key AFC East battle with the New England Patriots, but his status for the remainder of the season in unclear.

The Jets said general manager Mike Tannenbaum would meet with doctors and trainers following Friday night's surgery.

Leonhard was carted off the field following the injury, though the team didn't say how it occurred. The team said Leonhard's bone did not break the skin and that his ankle and knee were OK.

The 28-year-old had played 58 straight games for New York, Baltimore and Buffalo. He's recorded 61 tackles and an interception in 11 games this season.

Head coach Rex Ryan said his starting safeties would likely be Eric Smith and Brodney Pool, while Joe McKnight and Kyle Wilson are among the possibilities to return punts.

New York and New England are tied atop the AFC East with 9-2 records, and the Jets won the season's earlier matchup at New Meadowlands Stadium.


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