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Eric Decker’s hip surgery is bad news for the Jets’ 2017 season

Decker still needs shoulder surgery, and the unexpected hip surgery extends his recovery time significantly.

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets placed Eric Decker on injured reserve with a significant labrum tear in his shoulder, and today the team announced that Decker underwent hip surgery after doctors deemed that the more pressing condition. Decker will have surgery to repair the torn labrum after he recovers sufficiently enough from the hip surgery to walk without crutches.

The recovery time for the hip surgery is six months. It’s unclear how much time Decker will need to spend on crutches, but once he has the shoulder surgery, the recovery time from that is eight months. It’s a concrete possibility that Decker may miss the beginning of the 2017 season.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday it’s too soon to know if Decker’s recovery will sideline him for any part of the 2017 season.

"It's probably too early for that. It'll probably be close,” Bowles said. “We've got to see how he heals."

Losing Decker for the season has been a blow to a Jets offense that needs all the help it can get. Prior to injury, Decker had nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. The Jets offense ranks 26th in the league for offensive yards per game with 331.5.

New York is particularly struggling in the red zone, where Decker would provide a reliable target. The Jets have scored touchdowns on just 36.4 percent of trips to the red zone. Last season, they scored touchdowns in the red zone just over 66 percent of the time.

The Jets are 1-5 now and New York is coming off of a 28-3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Ryan Fitzpatrick played so poorly that he was benched in favor of Geno Smith. Fitzpatrick completed 16 of 31 passes for 174 yards and an ill-timed interception in the end zone that ended the Jets’ most successful drive of the night.

Smith didn’t look great, either. He went 4 of 6 for 31 yards and a pick. Both Fitzpatrick and Smith will hit free agency at the end of the season if the Jets opt to not re-sign them, so it’s possible Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty, or someone entirely new could be under center for the Jets when Decker is healthy enough to return to the field.

The team’s only win this season came in Week 2, when the Jets surged past the Buffalo Bills in a prime-time Thursday Night Football matchup, winning 37-31. Decker was a huge factor in New York’s offensive production against the Bills, hauling in six catches for 126 yards.