The Jets’ offensive line has been devastated by injuries again this year, beginning with a second straight season-ending knee problem for former first-round pick and starting tackle Mekhi Becton.
The offensive tackle the Jets are honoring Sunday incredibly didn’t miss a single game — or even a practice — during his entire 10-year stint with the organization.
Such durability is a large reason why three-time Pro Bowler D’Brickashaw Ferguson will be added to the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime of Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
“This is a very surreal moment,” Ferguson said Friday at the Jets’ training facility in Florham Park. “I don’t think coming into the game, you ever have an idea of how it’s going to end. I think you do your best to do what your abilities allow. I think the fact that it ended in a way that I thought was very nice, and then this is like another kind of added element that I didn’t foresee.
“I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. I think when I see other people who have been in the Ring of Honor – Marty Lyons, Wayne Chrebet, Nick Mangold – it’s like I get it. [Darrelle] Revis, I get it. These guys are phenomenal players. In their time, they were arguably the best. I think it’s hard to look at yourself in that light…So I’m sure it’s going to be emotionally filled.”
The Freeport, Long Island product will be the second of three former Jets to be inducted this season. Mangold, Ferguson’s longtime fellow lineman, was honored on Sept. 25 against the Bengals, and Revis will be so feted on Nov. 27 against the Bears.
Those three players were mainstays on Jets teams that advanced to back-to-back AFC Championship games after the 2009 and 2010 campaigns. The franchise hasn’t reached the playoffs in 11 seasons since.
“I think it’s huge, like it makes sense that we had the success that we had. We were able to do it together,” Ferguson said of Mangold and Revis. “I think the fact that we can go in together just speaks volumes of how we were able to play collectively.”
Ferguson, the No.4 overall pick in the 2006 draft out of Virginia, made 160 consecutive starts for the Jets from his rookie year through 2015, making three straight Pro Bowl trips from 2009-11.
“I was joking the other day, all I remember is my coaches telling me to do things better, and it’s not good enough,” the38-year-old Ferguson said. “I also remember the times I was picking up [quarterback] Chad Pennington after a sack on the first play. I remember these things a lot more than maybe the moments that coalesce so today could happen.
“For me, I think having time to remove yourself from that moment, you can really reflect and say, OK, maybe the work did pay off. Or maybe the things that I thought were so dire were just a part of the process.”
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