NEW YORK (AP) - The Jets are down a key backup and in serious need of depth on their offensive line.
Robert Turner has a broken right leg and will have surgery this week, a person with knowledge of the injury said Tuesday. After the procedure, it will be determined how long Turner is sidelined, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced the nature of the injury.
Turner was hurt in New York's 20-16 loss at Houston in the team's preseason opener. He started at center for the injured Nick Mangold and was hurt in the first quarter when Houston's J.J. Watt rolled into his right leg from behind. Turner was carted off the field.
While he's not a starter, Turner is a major contributor to a unit that has been ranked among the league's best for the last few seasons. He is the Jets' primary backup on the offensive line because of his ability to play multiple positions, including center, tackle, blocking tight end and he has even lined up on defense in some goal-line situations.
The Jets re-signed Turner, a restricted free agent, to a one-year deal after the lockout ended.
Mangold suffered a stinger in practice last week and didn't make the trip with the team to Houston, but should be fine. New York also played without starting right guard Brandon Moore, who was just moved to the active roster from the physically-unable-to-perform list following offseason hip surgery.
Wayne Hunter was another of the Jets' key backups in past seasons, but he has assumed the starting job at right tackle after Damien Woody retired. Vladimir Ducasse, New York's second-round draft pick last year, is the Jets' only other lineman with experience and he has struggled in limited action. In fact, Ducasse was beaten by Watt during the play in which Turner was injured.
New York could be in the market for an experienced backup now, but the market is thin. Former Giants center Shaun O'Hara and guard Rich Seubert are free agents, as well as former Steelers guard-tackle Trai Essex and former Eagles guard-center Nick Cole.