New York Jets' Sione Pouha to Miss Week 1 Due to Back Injury

Adam WaksmanCorrespondent IIISeptember 7, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Sione Pouha #91 of the New York Jets reacts during their 19 to 24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Friday morning that New York Jets star nose tackle Sione Pouha will miss the season opener this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

The otherwise reasonably healthy Jets will be missing a key starter on defense.

Not a huge celebrity around the country, Pouha is the epitome of an NFL defensive leader. He has served as a rock solid starter at nose tackle for the Jets since 2009.

Despite not yet being voted to a Pro Bowl in his career, Pouha is widely considered to be one of the best pure nose tackles and one of the best 3-4 run-stuffers in the NFL. His presence will definitely be missed against the tandem running attack of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.

The Jets defense has dominated the Bills in recent history, including five consecutive games from 2009 through 2011, during which the Bills failed to score more than 14 points in regulation.

Pouha has been dealing with this back injury for all of the preseason. He was hopeful to play in Week 1 until this morning. It is likely but not definite that he will be able to play in Week 2.

In his place will be second year defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis. Ellis did not see much playing time in his rookie year and was viewed as a raw talent. Assuming he gets the start on Sunday, it will be only his third NFL start.

Ellis is a physical phenomenon and has the raw abilities to be a first-tier defensive tackle. However, it would be optimistic to think that he will already be as effective as Pouha right away.


Adam Waksman is a featured columnist for the Bleacher Report New York Jets community. Be sure to follow Adam on Twitter to receive updates right away.