Florham Park, N.J.– The Jets have a few key players dealing with injury problems right now, but Rex Ryan is confident that he will have all his troops ready to contribute on the field this Sunday. LaDainian Tomlinson (knee), Brodney Pool (knee), Matt Slauson (knee), Jeremy Kerley (knee), Shonn Greene (ribs) and Plaxico Burress (personal) all didn’t participate in practice today, but Ryan said, “I think everyone will play, so we’ll see, obviously, as the week goes. Would they have played today? I don’t know about that, but I think by Sunday all our guys will be ready.”
Greene suffered a rib injury against the Broncos last Thursday and had to miss the rest of the game. He said he wanted to come back in, but the doctors decided against it. As of right now Greene says, “It’s still a little bit painful, but I’ll probably practice tomorrow.” Greene also said, “I got a shirt being made. It’s got special protective padding so I should be good.”
Pool was injured in the last game against Buffalo, just as it appeared the Jets coaches decided it would be wise to use him at safety in obvious passing situations. The Jets badly missed Pool in the game against the Patriots, but he likely wouldn’t have seen much playing time against the run heavy Broncos last week. This week the Bills come into to town with their “Patriot lite” style of offense and the Jets would love to have Pool to defend the Bills passing attack.
“It actually feels a lot better, but I’m just going to take it day by day and see how it reacts.” Pool said, “I got a good chance of playing this week, hopefully I’ll be there.”
The most consistent offensive player for the Jets this season has been Matt Slauson. Which is why Jets fans had a right to worry when Slauson injured his MCL on the third play of the game against the Broncos last week before being fitted for a knee brace and inserted back in the lineup for the rest of that game. “I just got rolled up on, on our first series.” Slauson said, “It’s been giving me a couple of issues, but I should be back practicing tomorrow as long as everything goes well this afternoon.”
With Burress being out today and tomorrow, excused for personal reasons, and Kerley still on the mend the Jets were forced to resort to using Antonio Cromartie at receiver in practice today. There are no injury concerns with Burress (no more than usual anyway), so the Jets fully expect him to be ready for Sunday’s game, but they are also hoping to have Kerley return this week.
Kerley said he wants to play, “Real bad. Hopefully, like I said, I can comeback this Sunday and help these guys out.” When asked if the coaches told him he will need to practice in order to play Kerley said they haven’t told him that, but that’s something he is thinking about on his own.
“They haven’t said it yet, but I want to see myself on the practice field. I want to get my confidence back right. I don’t want to just step back on Friday’s practice and think I can full go.” Kerley said, “Hopefully by Wednesday, if not Wednesday, Thursday I’ll be back at least at 75-90 percent, somewhere around there.”
So while there are obvious injury concerns, none of them seem serious and right now everyone is expected to play on Sunday. The real concern is with making sure they can bounce back from these last two losses and seize the opportunity to win one of the Wildcard spots.
“We’re good now, we put those games behind us now.” Slauson said, “We reviewed the film this morning, got all the corrections and we’re focused on the future now.”
“In this game you don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself. You have to move on, and you have to get ready to play. We dealt ourselves a bad hand, but we’re still in the game. And as long as you’re still in the game you have to perform.” Bart Scott said, “This is a good opportunity for us to get on the right track and try and go on a roll, because we have to. We can’t afford to lose any more games.”
While all the fans and members of the media will be scoreboard watching and paying close attention to what the other AFC contenders are doing, Slauson and Scott say they can’t afford to get caught up in everyone else. They need to stay focused on the only thing they can control, themselves.
“I let the coaches deal with that. That’s just me personally.” Slauson said, “I’m going to keep on playing hard no matter what. So I’m going to let them figure out how and I’m just going to do what they tell me to.”
“I don’t worry about that stuff. You worry about you trying to win six game.” Scott said, “If you win six games, then that’s the best way to give yourself the best chance to be successful and get an opportunity. You win six game, and then it starts with one.”
With so many other AFC teams also losing yesterday the Jets playoff hopes are still alive, but any more than one more loss in these next six games and the Jets will be severally pushing their luck. So does this mean the are Jets in playoff mode right now?
“We’re in win mode.” Greene said, “We just want to win games.”
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