Jets say they’re not looking to replace Wayne Hunter

Getty Images

Even though they probably should be, and already have, Jets coach Rex Ryan said the team wasn’t looking for a starting right tackle.

Wayne Hunter’s become even more of a lightning rod after a bad game Saturday against the Giants, but the team denied they were looking for an upgrade.

“No, if there is something out there … At this time, people are looking to move a player or this player or whatever,” Ryan said, via Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger. “But right now to say that we’re in the market for a starting tackle, I don’t believe that to be an accurate statement.”

Hunter was excused from practice Tuesday because of what the team termed “personal reasons.” Ryan said he expected him back at practice Wednesday and to start Sunday night against the Panthers.

Coincidentally, the Panthers tried to trade Jeff Otah to the Jets to possibly replace Hunter, but that deal fell through when Otah couldn’t pass a physical.

“It’s personal. I’m not going to get into it; it’s between Wayne and I,” Ryan said of their meeting. “I’ll just say, he was here for meetings, and I was OK with him missing practice today.”

Listen, if the Jets aren’t looking for an upgrade, there’s something wrong with them. As much as he’s become a liability in protection, Hunter has become a punch line.

And on the Jets as presently constructed, that’s saying something.