Colt McCoy had successful surgery Tuesday to repair a broken fibula in his right leg, but his injury leaves Mark Sanchez, who was signed two weeks ago, as the lone healthy quarterback on the roster. The team will sign veteran Josh Johnson to back up Sanchez.
Left guard Jonathan Cooper, who was signed a month ago, needs surgery to repair a torn biceps suffered Monday and will go on injured reserve, while right guard Tony Bergstrom went down with a high-ankle sprain that will keep him out “a couple weeks, at least” according to Gruden. The team worked out two guards Tuesday morning.
The original pair of starters, Shawn Lauvao and Brandon Scherff, both suffered season-ending injuries Nov. 4 against the Atlanta Falcons.
There’s a decision to be made whether to move tackle Ty Nsekhe to guard while starting tackles Trent Williams and Morgan Moses have been banged up. Backup linemen Austin Howard and Luke Bowanko were both signed the same day as Cooper.
“If you put him at guard and something happens then who is your backup tackle?” Gruden said. “We have another guy in-house here [Howard], so who is your left guard and right guard kind of puts us in a pickle. If Ty takes one of them, we can put Luke in there at the other one assuming that [center] Chase [Roullier] is okay.
"Chase banged up his knee a little bit, so we just have to figure out the best possible five guys that we can put on the field and then figure out what they know and what they can handle.”
Linebacker Ryan Anderson is expected to miss a week with a hamstring injury. The statuses of cornerbacks Quinton Dunbar (shin/nerve) and Fabian Moreau (ankle), wide receiver Trey Quinn (ankle) and defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis (calf) are up in the air.
Playoff expectations were high after a 5-2 start, but injuries have played a part in the team’s current 1-4 skid. The team is still in the mix to make the postseason, however.
“We do have a lot to play for,” Gruden said. “It’s my job to make sure I challenge these guys and let them know that we still have enough talent in here to be successful. It might not be pretty. We might not throw for 500 yards and lead the league in offense or what have you. We might throw for a hundred and rush for a hundred and win the game 7-3. Who knows?
“I know that we have enough talent in here where we can still do some damage and compete with anybody on our schedule.”
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