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Jets' Martin to have season-ending surgery

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Dec. 11, 2005) -- Jets running back Curtis Martin will undergo season-ending surgery on his right knee after missing Sunday's game against Oakland, breaking a streak of 119 regular-season starts.

Martin, known for his ability to play through pain, initially hurt his knee against Miami in Week 2. The reigning NFL rushing champion has missed five regular-season games during his 11-year career. He last missed a game on Oct. 11, 1998, when he sat out against St. Louis with a thigh injury.

Including playoff games, the 32-year-old Martin had started 126 straight. With his year over, Martin failed in his quest to become the first player in NFL history to start a career with 11 straight 1,000 yard seasons. He finished with 735 yards.

The team said Martin will have surgery this week. Rookie Cedric Houston will start in Martin's place.

Coach Herman Edwards made it a goal for the team to get Martin to the mark, and Martin talked earlier this week about getting there.

"It would be a great goal to accomplish," Martin said. "This is one that I think would be special. I have to understand that this would be special, not for myself, but just for everyone who's a part of it."

Because setting the record meant so much, Martin must have been in extreme pain to elect to have surgery during the season. With the Jets struggling, it is probably not worth the risk to continue playing. In 2002, Martin played with injuries to both his ankles in what to this point was the toughest season of his career.

When asked to compare the two seasons, Martin said, "This has been one of my more challenging if not my most challenging year physically."

The last time Martin missed more than one game in a season was when he was with New England in 1997. Martin sat out the final three regular-season games and two playoff games with shoulder and groin injuries.

Martin is the seventh key offensive player to go out for the season, and the fifth starter, joining quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Jay Fiedler, center Kevin Mawae, tackle Jason Fabini, tight end Chris Baker and receiver Wayne Chrebet.

The Jets also said Fiedler had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder.

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