Updated 5:05 p.m. ET
A practice mishap involving defensive tackle Mike DeVito could lead to rookie nose tackle Kenrick Ellis, who made his pro debut Monday night against Miami, getting his first NFL start Sunday vs. San Diego.
DeVito got his knee rolled up at Wednesday’s practice. He was limited Thursday and today he sat out all of the team drills. He’s listed as questionable for the Chargers.
“We had him checked out and he checked out fine — he’s just awfully sore,” head coach Rex Ryan said at his daily news conference after today’s practice, adding that DeVito underwent an MRI and has no structural damage in the knee. “It could be gametime on him whether he goes or not.”
So the starter in the base could be … Ellis. Not Ropati Pitoitua or Marcus Dixon? Both are back from their injuries, practicing full today and listed as probable.
“Those guys are going to play a ton of roles for us,” Ryan said. “But in the run game, I’d like to have two nose tackle types, I’d like to have Bo and Kenrick in there, if DeVito can’t play, to stop that run up.”
The Chargers have a dangerous rushing attack. Ryan Mathews is 10th in the NFL with 413 rushing yards at 4.9 yards per carry, and with Mike Tolbert (concussion) likely to return to action, they have a fine 1-2 punch and the league’s No. 9 rushing offense.
But Ellis had the wraps taken off last week and contributed nicely against the Dolphins run, with three tackles, including 1.5 for loss. And given that the ‘Bolts also have a dangerous passing attack triggered by Philip Rivers, it’s probable that Ellis won’t be getting 60 snaps on Sunday.
Whatever his role, what Kenrick said after the win over the Dolphins surely applies to the Chargers and beyond: “I’m just happy to help.”
More on the Injury Front
Ryan’s Friday injury list has CB Isaiah Trufant (hamstring) out for Sunday, joining WR Logan Payne (wrist) on the sideline. The only other “questionable” was C Nick Mangold but he was questionable for the previous two games and still came out for the starts at Baltimore and New England. Nine other Jets are probable after full practices, including CB Antonio Cromartie (groin; limited Thursday) and Pitoitua (knee; limited Thursday).
San Diego’s injury report lists DE Luis Castillo as out for the game. TE Antonio Gates (foot) participated in the Chargers’ full practice today and is listed as questionable. Five other players are listed as probable — WR Vincent Jackson (hamstring), RB Mike Tolbert (concussion), RB Jacob Hester (foot), DE Jacques Cesaire (knee) and CB Marcus Gilchrist (knee). All practiced full except for Hester, who was limited.
Tags: Kenrick Ellis, Marcus Dixon, Mike DeVito, Mike Tolbert, Rex Ryan, Ropati Pitoitua, Ryan Mathews
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