Updated, 5:54 p.m. ET
In the knee joint, the Jets took one step back and two steps ahead today.
DT Mike DeVito did not practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, and head coach Rex Ryan’s prognosis remained the same for MDV as it was Monday: “It doesn’t look good for him this week.”
But RB LaDainian Tomlinson and WR Jeremy Kerley, who both came out of Game 9 vs. New England with knee issues that kept them sidelined the next two games, are looking better for a return to action Sunday at Washington.
“I think LT and Kerley looked really, really good to me out there,” Ryan said at his daily news conference. “They looked fresh and ready to roll. That’s a good sign.”
It would be hard statistically to show what the absence of these two players, one venerable veteran, one promising rookie, did to the Jets’ offensive attack. In the last two games the Jets have averaged 110.5 rushing yards compared to a 119.8 figure for the previous five, but that might be attributed partly to Shonn Greene’s sore ribcage. Total-yardage-wise, the average of the first nine games (314.1) is almost identical to the average of the last two (318.0).
But that wouldn’t tell the whole story. Kerley added an element of excitement as the slot receiver and as the improving punt returner. Tomlinson’s pregame fire and in-game contributions are considerable. Perhaps the best thing to be said is that with Patrick Turner emerging in the passing game and Joe McKnight getting more reps behind Greene for LT, if those two return to the lineup it can only help Mark Sanchez and the offense.
“To have Kerley back would be awesome this week. He’s working hard, he got reps in practice today and stuff so it’s looking good, but we’ll see,” Sanchez said in front of his locker. “Same thing with LT. He just provides us one other great perspective, somebody who has been in positions like this, somebody who knows what crunch-time games are like and somebody that has great hands out of the backfield and can run the rock. So it’s big for us.”
And if the Jets can get all hands on deck Sunday at FedEx Field, that will help them in their quest to keep winning these one-game seasons in front of them from now through the end of the regular season.
Plax, Stevie and the Red Zone
WR Plaxico Burress continued to take the high road regarding Bills WR Stevie Johnson, who Associated Press reports was fined $10,000 by the NFL for his post-TD celebration that included him “shooting” himself in the thigh, a reference to Burress’ gun-violation issues of the previous two years.
“I don’t have a problem with Stevie at all,” Burress said. “He’s a very charismatic guy with his celebrations and he’s just trying to have fun. I think he’ll continue to grow as a person.”
Burress continues to pose a threat for anyone trying to cover him in the red zone. With his 14-yard second-quarter scoring catch from Sanchez vs. the Bills, Plax now has six catches inside the opponents’ 20, which is tied in the NFL for the most among wideouts this season with Detroit’s Calvin Johnson and New England’s Wes Welker.
Which segues nicely into this note: The Jets have risen to second in the NFL in the red zone benchmark measure of TD percentage. All four touchdowns Sunday vs. the Bills were RZ scores, giving the Jets 23 TDs in 35 forays inside the opponents’ 20, a 65.7 percent rate that trails only Tennessee (17-for-24, 70.8).
The Redskins have 11 players on their initial injury report of the week. Four starters did not practice — LB London Fletcher (ankle), S LaRon Landry (groin), DE Stephen Bowen (knee) and FB Darrel Young (head). Three more were limited during team drills, including two starters — LB Brian Orakpo (ankle) and RT Jammal Brown (hip). Among the four full-go ‘Skins was QB Rex Grossman (left shoulder).
Chester McGlockton Dead at 42
A sad note today: Chester McGlockton, 42, the four-time Pro Bowl D-lineman who spent the last season of his 12-year playing career with the Jets in 2003, has died, according to the Fayetteville Observer’s Web site.
McGlockton, in his second season as a defensive assistant at Stanford, was reported to have awoken at his home in San Ramon, Calif., this morning experiencing shortness of breath and then an apparent heart attack.
Tags: Jeremy Kerley, LaDainian Tomlinson, Mike DeVito, Plaxico Burress, Rex Ryan, Stevie Johnson, Washington Redskins
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