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Jets’ Devin Smith tears ACL at OTAs, out for 2017 season

Terrible, terrible break for the former Ohio State wide receiver.

NFL: Preseason-Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Few have ever been as prolific at reeling in deep balls as Devin Smith was at Ohio State.

His NFL career, on the other hand, has been star-crossed to say the least. Battling one injury after another, Smith’s never been able to reproduce his production at the college ranks. In part, because of the Jets’ hot mess of a quarterback situation, but even more so because of just brutal, criminally unfair injury luck.

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said Saturday, during the third and final day of the 2017 NFL Draft, that Smith’s been lost again, this time for the 2017 NFL season:

Smith’s rookie year included fracturing a rib/puncturing his lung in training camp, causing him to miss time and get behind in his development. Then, just four months later, Smith tore his ACL, missing the rest of the 2015 season.

Smith missed most of his “sophomore season” with the Jets, still recovering from the after-effects of that December 2015 right ACL injury. That appears to be the same knee he injured again this past week.

While we certainly hope this isn’t the end, at a certain point, it almost becomes about ensuring his quality of life post-football. Whether Smith decides to shut it down -- which surely no one would fault him for — or he makes one more near-heroic effort at rehabbing and giving the brutality of pro football another shot, we’re certainly rooting for him either way.