Reggie Bush limped off the field. Darrelle Revis was driven away.
They were both gone with apparent left knee injuries long before a four-hour overtime marathon between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins ended — but their absences could clearly mean plenty for both clubs going forward.
Bush departed just before halftime. He stayed down after being tackled on a play where the Dolphins were apparently trying to run out the clock but chose not to simply take a knee, giving their best offensive player the ball on a handoff instead. Revis left in the third quarter, falling awkwardly and grabbing at his knee even before he hit the grass, a non-contact injury where he wound up covering his face with gloved hands in obvious pain.
At least the Jets gave their injured star something to celebrate, beating the Dolphins 23-20 on a field goal by Nick Folk with 6:04 left in overtime.
”No news yet,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said when asked about Revis in a postgame interview. ”He’ll have an MRI when we get home tomorrow.”
There was no update on Bush’s status from the Dolphins, either. The team said after he got hurt that he was questionable to return — he did not come back, but spent at least some of the second half on a stationary bike on the Miami sideline, presumably to keep the knee somewhat loose.
Daniel Thomas finished with 69 yards on 19 carries, and rookie Lamar Miller had 48 yards on nine carries after halftime. Miller’s best play was a 22-yard gain, the longest in the game.
”We wanted to give Lamar an opportunity, you know, once we thought Reggie couldn’t play effectively,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. ”We have two guys, we think a lot of the both of them, and we think they’re capable of playing.”
Bush entered the week as the NFL’s No. 2 rusher, coming off a brilliant 26-carry, 172-yard, two-touchdown effort a week ago in Miami’s win over Oakland. The Dolphins averaged 4.9 yards a carry when Bush was in the game, and 3.8 after he departed.
”Reggie is one of the keys to our offense, but that’s what we practice for,” Dolphins fullback Jorvorskie Lane said. ”You have to be ready in this game. You never know when the situation with Reggie and whatever happened to him, you never know in this game and I think Lamar did a great job of picking up the slack.”
Ryan said that when he got into the locker room after the game ended — nearly two hours after Revis hopped into the passenger seat of a golf cart for a ride from the sideline to off the field — the Jets’ All-Pro cornerback was already in street clothes.
While teammates milled about getting dressed after the win, a suitcase sat at Revis’ locker, the contents of which had been packed up for the flight home.
”Always concerned with guys being injured, and clearly with Darrelle, that’s your best player so of course you’re going to be concerned,” Ryan said. ”Again, I don’t know anything right now about it. We’ll find out with the MRI tomorrow.”
The Jets already played without Revis once this season, with him missing the Week 2 loss to Pittsburgh with what the team called a ”mild concussion.”
Obviously, they don’t want to be without him for any long stretches.
His replacement, Kyle Wilson, was called for pass interference late in regulation, a 19-yard gift to the Dolphins that set up a 41-yard overtime-forcing field goal by Dan Carpenter. And Miami beat the Jets’ secondary with a deep pass to get in position to win in overtime, after Brian Hartline hauled in a 41-yard throw from Ryan Tannehill — a drive that ultimately came up empty when Carpenter missed from 48 yards out.
”Anytime you play without the best corner in the league, there’s a difference,” Jets safety Yeremiah Bell said. ”But we have guys who can step in and fill the role.”