Mixed Perspectives on Sione Pouha’s Injury
By Alan Schechter
Dec 11, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets nose tackle Sione Pouha (91) celebrates a safety during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Met Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John O
The week leading up to the open of the NFL season is finally here. The season officially opens tomorrow night, and the Jets open on Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Bills. As the week begins, the injury reports start to come in, although not officially until tomorrow.
One key member of the New York Jets that has been injured for the better part of the preseason is NT Sione Pouha. He has suffered through a back injury that has kept him out of games, and practice, for weeks. Sione has become a leader along the Jets defensive line, and although the defensive line is deep, he is important to the Jets success.
But will Pouha be ready for the opener. Head coach Rex Ryan was confident in the weeks prior to this one, but now he is unsure on Sione’s status. Here is what he had to say about his injury:
Well, sometimes backs are tricky. If you go out there too early and have a setback with it, that can really set you back. But he’s been getting better. He actually has weights down, he’s been able to do some things, but he really hasn’t practiced football. I don’t want to say he’s ready to go. Playing that position, I don’t know if you can just run out there without competing on the practice field with each other.
Rex Ryan was asked about whether or not Pouha suffered a setback, and he couldn’t rule it out:
No. We’ll see, that could very well be. I don’t want to give you a definitive-absolutely when that has never been said to me.
The final quote was on whether or not Pouha will have a limited number of snaps if he goes, and if the injury played into the signing Isaako Aaitui:
Yeah, that could be. You hit it great with that nose tackle guy. Because Tui (Isaako Aaitui), I think we’ll call him that. Because you’re right, I’ve got no chance. (Mike) Tannenbaum claimed he signed him because he wants me to pronounce his name (joking). You’re right. He’s a good football player. But he’s a young guy that we’re going to work at both spots. Really more at tackle, focus him more at tackle, than nose tackle because I feel good about where we’re at nose tackle wise with obviously, Sione, Kenrick and Big Snacks (Damon Harrison) over there. So, we’ll see how it goes.
Clearly, Rex is not sure about how Pouha is doing. However, it’s a different story when you hear Sione Pouha tell it. This is what he had to say yesterday about his progress:
I think I’m a little bit ahead of exactly where I should be. We kind of took an assessment last week to find out where I was and I was (about) four or five days ahead of schedule. My job is to make sure I’m ready to go.
Maybe Sione Pouha will be ready, maybe not. We will learn more Wednesday and after when the official injury reports come out.