NEW YORK (AP) -The New York Jets placed wide receiver Laveranues Coles on injured reserve Saturday because of an ankle injury that has bothered him for several weeks.
Coles, known throughout his eight-year career for his toughness and ability to play through pain, suffered a high left ankle sprain early in the Jets' 19-16 overtime win against Pittsburgh on Nov. 18. He missed New York's game at Dallas four days later on Thanksgiving, but returned for the Jets' next game at Miami, where he had five catches for 69 yards.
Coles caught seven passes for 48 yards the following week against Cleveland, but lasted just one play last Sunday at New England after aggravating the ankle the day before in a bizarre incident at the team hotel when the trainer's table fell on it while he was getting treatment.
Coles finished the season with 55 catches for 646 yards and six TDs
Since injuring the ankle over a month ago, Coles has been limited at practice and noticeably hobbled. With the Jets (3-11) long out of the playoff picture, some suggested Coles should sit out the last two games to help the ankle heal and prevent further injury.
Earlier this week, Coles won the team's Ed Block Courage Award and said he would prefer the team make the decision whether to end his season. He also expressed his doubts about whether continuing to play would be beneficial to him and the team in the long run.
``If they say that I'm not going to damage anything or I'm going to be fine and keep moving, then I'll follow orders,'' Coles said. ``I'm not going to put it in the same context as someone being in college, but we are kind of like soldiers.''
Coles became the latest in a growing list of Jets players to be placed on injured reserve, joining linebacker Jonathan Vilma (knee), cornerback Justin Miller (knee), fullback Stacy Tutt (knee) and Chansi Stuckey (foot). Linebacker Cody Spencer was placed on the reserve-non-football illness list early this season, while wide receiver David Clowney was put on the practice squad-injured reserve list on Dec. 12.
It's been a tough season for Coles, who had a streak of playing in 107 straight games end on Nov. 4 because of a concussion sustained against Buffalo the previous week. After missing a game, Coles returned only to injure the ankle against the Steelers.
The Jets signed punter Jeremy Kapinos from the practice squad to take Coles' spot on the active roster.
A finalist last year at Penn State for the Ray Guy Award given to the nation's top punter, Kapinos spent training camp with the Jets before being cut a week before the regular season. He was signed to the practice squad Nov. 27 and could push Ben Graham for playing time.
Graham is averaging 43 yards per punt, but his 36.4 net average ranks 22nd in the league.
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