New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is helped to his feet after being injured in the third quarter of play against the Miami Dolphins during their NFL football game in Miami, Florida, September 23, 2012. (REUTERS)
The New York Jets will have an unmanned island for the rest of the season and it's the size of Madagascar.
Darrelle Revis, widely regarded as the NFL's best cornerback, is almost certainly out for the season.
An MRI on Monday revealed the perennial All-Pro tore the ACL in his left knee Sunday in Miami.
How important is "Revis Island" to the Jets' defence?
According to ESPN Stats and Info, when Revis has been off the field the past two seasons, opposing quarterbacks have completed 73.8% of their passes.
Kyle Wilson, the team's first-round draft pick in 2010, takes over for Revis across from Antonio Cromartie in the defensive backfield.
Asked Monday if he felt added pressure to fill Revis' role, Wilson said no, that he'd "go out there, make plays and have fun. Just play my game, that's all I can do."
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was asked last week how the Jets' defensive game plan changes when Revis is out.
"It changes, but not a lot," Pettine said. "It definitely affects some of the calls, where you felt comfortable leaving (Revis) basically alone on half the field, whereas when he's not in there, it's a handful of things."
A handful of something, anyway.
Here are updates on other big-name or pivotal NFL players injured on Sunday:
* REGGIE BUSH: The Miami Dolphins running back, the team and all its fans are breathing a sigh of relief. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that Bush suffered no structural damage to his left knee against the Jets.
An elated Bush tweeted: "Received some great news today! Praise the Lord!"
"Everything points to a knee sprain, although nothing has been reported to that end," wrote NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal.
* C.J. SPILLER: The Buffalo Bills' running back situation brightened considerably Monday.
First, C.J. Spiller did not separate his left shoulder in Cleveland.
Head coach Chan Gailey would not disclose exactly what injury Spiller did suffer, but said it is "not as bad as originally thought." Even better, Gailey said he "is not going to completely" rule out Spiller for Sunday's AFC East showdown against visiting New England, although he said Spiller would be more likely to return next week at San Francisco.
Even better, Fred Jackson, out since the first half of the opener with a sprained ligament in his right knee, told reporters he figures he has a "70 to 75% chance" to play on Sunday.
"It looks like he is going to practise Wednesday, and we will see how he feels during the course of the week," Gailey said. "I am very optimistic."
* MATTHEW STAFFORD: Although Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had no comment on the status of his starting quarterback, ProFootballTalk.com reported that a source says he has a "hamstring issue." Schwartz said a decision as to whether Stafford can play Sunday against Minnesota would be made Friday.
* AUSTIN COLLIE: The hard-luck wide receiver from Hamilton, Ont., finally recovered from his latest concussion and played Sunday against Jacksonville. But he tore his right patella tendon and is gone for the season.
* DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY: The Oakland Raiders wide receiver was knocked unconscious for several minutes on a wicked helmet-to-helmet hit by Pittsburgh safety Ryan Mundy in the end zone. On Monday, the Raiders announced Heyward-Bay was released from hospital and was "resting at home with a concussion and neck strain, and expected to make a full recovery." Mundy was not flagged but can expect a hefty fine.
* ADRIAN CLAYBORN: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' best pass rusher is out for the season with a torn knee ligament.
* TRENT WILLIAMS: An MRI Monday revealed that Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams has only a bone bruise in his right knee, per Mike Jones of Washington Post. Williams' return date was unknown.
* MATT SCHAUB: The Houston quarterback is still missing a small chunk of his left earlobe, after Denver linebacker Joe Mays viciously went airborne at full speed and smashed into Schaub's head, sending Schaub's helmet and that bit of his ear flying.
FIVE STORIES TO WATCH
1. Refs. Refs. Refs. Refs...
Not since Paris Hilton paused for reflection has there been so much disgust with the performance of 140 men. The bungling by the replacement officials reaches new heights every week. Reports say the league and the real-refs' union are meeting behind closed doors. Good. For the sake of humanity, settle it.
2. Who will win first -- the Saints or the Browns?
The NFL's last two winless teams face these teams before November. New Orleans: at Green Bay, vs. San Diego, at Tampa Bay, at Denver. Cleveland: at Baltimore, at NY Giants, vs. Cincinnati, vs. San Diego. Both teams could still be winless after Halloween.
3. Who will lose first -- the Cards, Falcons or Texans?
The easy answer is Arizona, right? Well, check out the next four opponents of the 3-0 teams. Houston might well lose first. Arizona's schedule: vs Miami, at St. Louis, vs. Buffalo, at Minnesota. Atlanta: vs. Carolina, at Washington, vs. Oakland, at Philadelphia. Houston: vs. Tennessee, at NY Jets, vs. Green Bay, vs. Baltimore.
4. Can the Patriots avoid falling to 1-3 in Buffalo?
The Pats have a losing record for the first time since September 2003, when they opened with a loss in Buffalo. That's where they play Sunday, and where they lost last year. Bills GM Buddy Nix told me in camp that the Pats "don't scare me ... Our intention is to try to win the division." To have a decent chance at that, Buffalo must win Sunday.
5. Dallas vs Chicago -- does a scoreless tie loom?
Next Monday night's matchup pits two ravenous front-sevens against two offensive lines that protect worse than SPF-5 sunblock. Through three games, the Bears have sacked the QB a league-leading 14 times, and the Cowboys have allowed only 411 yards through the air (137 per game). Bettors, whatever the over/under is, take the under.
Vikings QB Christian Ponder
Of the 10 rookie or second-year QBs starting in the NFL, Ponder gets the least amount of buzz. He deserves more. He was the best player Sunday in Minny's upset of the 49ers. Ponder has completed 70% of his passes this season for four TDs and no interceptions.
Titans RB Chris Johnson
This is why you just can't put any stock in those glowing off-season reports, in which a coach raves about the work ethic of some player he promises will have a huge year. Johnson, the NFL's 2009 rushing champ, continues to disappear. He has amassed all of 45 yards this season, on 33 carries.
ON THE HOT SEAT
Michael Vick, QB, Eagles
Against the Cards, Vick completed only 46% of his passes for 217 yards and no TDs. On the season he has thrown six picks, fumbled four times and been sacked nine times. Eagles coach Andy Reid said on Monday: "Right now we're with Michael, and that's what we're doing. We'll evaluate as we go." Hardly a ringing endorsement.
The Atlanta Falcons, on both sides of the ball. If your defence can make both Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers look like a pair of lost rookies within the span of six days, and if your offence is at times scorching and, at worst, workmanlike -- you deserve to be 3-0.
Since the spring, we've been hearing that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is much improved from his disastrous rookie season. We don't believe it -- his last-minute, 80-yard game-winning touchdown pass at Indy notwithstanding. Gabbert was 9-of-20 for 75 yards before that. Against the Colts.
I woulda done exactly what the Detroit Lions did on that fourth-and-inches in overtime at the Titans' seven-yard line -- gone for it. Even though, it turns out, the Lions did it by mistake (communication error). Detroit's special teams and defence had bled yards by the vat all day.
New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was cleared only late last week to play in Miami, after his Week 1 concussion. Maybe they shoulda waited a week, huh?
No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts coulda been 2-1 if the team's defence, which had so successfully suffocated the Jacksonville Jaguars' passing attack for more than 59 minutes, hadn't let Cecil Shorts III rip through their secondary near game's end.
GOAT OF THE WEEK
Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter missed a 48-yard field goal that would have sunk the Jets in overtime and raised Miami to 2-1. Instead the Dolphins head to Arizona at 1-2.
HERO OF THE WEEK
How could it not be Ravens receiver Torrey Smith? Literally only hours after learning his younger brother, Tevin, had died in a motorcycle accident, Smith had the game of his career -- snaring touchdown passes of 25 and five yards, and six passes in all for 127 yards, to help Baltimore beat New England 31-30 Sunday night.
ZERO OF THE WEEK
Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays, who launched himself at full speed at Houston quarterback Matt Schaub's head, shearing off Schaub's helmet as well as a small chunk of the Texan's ear. Say bu-bye to at least a week's pay, Joe.