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Jets' tight end Jace Amaro to have season-ending shoulder surgery

FILE - In this July 30, 2015, file photo, New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro (88) makes a catch at training camp in Florham Park, N.J. Randle started training camp as the front-runner to replace NFL rushing champion DeMarco Murray in Dallas. With injuries affecting other candidates, the third-year back might be the last man standing. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

FILE - In this July 30, 2015, file photo, New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro (88) makes a catch at training camp in Florham Park, N.J. Randle started training camp as the front-runner to replace NFL rushing champion DeMarco Murray in Dallas. With injuries affecting other candidates, the third-year back might be the last man standing. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

Jace Amaro's shoulder injury is worse than initially expected.

The New York Jets placed the second-year tight end on season-ending injured reserve with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Amaro was hurt in the Jets' preseason opener at Detroit and the injury was at first thought by the team to be a sprain.

Coach Todd Bowles announced Tuesday that Amaro would need surgery to repair the shoulder. The Jets wanted to give Amaro a few weeks first to see if it would heal.

"He didn't get better, so the end result is we've got to do surgery and put him on IR," Bowles said. "He can't do anything. He's still in a lot of pain."

Defensive end Kevin Vickerson was also placed on injured reserve and cornerback Dashaun Phillips was waived/injured as the Jets pared their roster to the 75-player limit Tuesday. NFL teams must get down to 53 players by Saturday afternoon.

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Amaro finished tied for second on the team with 38 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie last season. His injury is a big loss for the Jets, who were hoping for a breakout season from the second-round draft pick out of Texas Tech.

Starter Jeff Cumberland, veteran Kellen Davis, Wes Saxton and Arthur Lynch are the remaining tight ends on the roster.

"Somebody's got to step up," Bowles said. "We've got a couple of guys playing this weekend that we want to see more of, and we'll look at it from there. This is a chance for somebody else to play."

Amaro recently told the Associated Press in an interview that he was looking forward to putting last season behind him, when he was criticized at times for some drops and lapses in concentration.

"If it's a fact, it's a fact — and you've got to prove it otherwise," he said at the time. "I caught almost 110 passes in college in one season, so I know I can catch the ball. It's really the least of my worries, being able to catch the ball."

He also drew the wrath of Rex Ryan, his former coach who's now in Buffalo. The two had a back-and-forth during the offseason after Ryan was angered by Amaro's opinion that the Jets lacked accountability last season.

"Yeah, and I feel bad for the kid," Ryan said when asked if he had reaction to Tuesday's news. "Jace is a good kid, he's just ... stupid comments. But you know what, he's a good kid, and I feel bad that he can't do it. He's a talented guy."

Ryan then paused for a few seconds before adding with a smile: "But I wasn't exactly afraid of him."

Amaro appeared to be improving as a blocker early in camp while learning new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey's system — although he had been listed third on the team's depth chart at tight end, behind Cumberland and Davis.

Now, Amaro will have to wait until next season to get back on the field.

"I mean, he was bummed out about it," Bowles said. "But, if you're in pain and you're not getting any better, you've got to fix it sooner than later."

Vickerson was signed in the offseason after one season with Kansas City following stints with Miami, Tennessee, Seattle and Denver. He was sidelined for a few weeks at the start of training camp with a hamstring injury before being activated from the active-physically unable to perform list on Aug. 10. He did not play in the preseason.

Phillips was signed to the practice squad last October and signed a reserve/future contract in late-December.

Also at Jets camp, Bowles announced that Willie Colon won the right guard job, beating out the likes of Brent Qvale and Brian Winters. 

"He played like he wanted it more," Bowles said. "He was the hungriest."

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