Updated 4:40 p.m. ET
The Jets need us to go green in a big way once again.
Head coach Rex Ryan said he wasn’t challenging Jets fans but rather asking them politely to “Green It” when they select their gamewear for Saturday afternoon’s Jets-Giants collision at MetLife Stadium.
“I remember when we played Cincinnati in a similar situation where we had to win to get into the playoffs,” Ryan said at his daily news conference of the “Win And We’re In” 2009 regular-season finale. “Feeling the presence of our fans, I never thought anybody could beat us that day. I really felt that way and our team went out and played that way.
“And I think if we get that kind of energy out of our fans, it’s going to go a long way to helping us achieve what we want to do and that’s have a huge win on Saturday and keep our playoff hopes alive.”
That night of the 37-0 domination of the equally playoff-bound Bengals was a site and sound to behold, one of the most memorable home games in Jets fandom history.
There have been a few others before and after, of course. First-year NFL linebacker Garrett McIntyre remembered this year’s opening night game, the Sept. 11 anniversary game against the Cowboys.
“I go back to that game,” McIntyre said. “It was the first game of the season so everybody was hyped up for that and the fact it was 9/11. But for us to battle back and the fans were loud and passionate at the end, that was probably the best … but it was my first NFL game, too, so that might have something to do with that.”
Fullback John Conner seconded Mac’s nomination but added another favorite, the Monday night 24-6 win over the Dolphins on Oct. 17.
“I thought the fans did a great job that night. It was a big win for us on national TV,” Conner said. “We had a lot of fun as a team that night. Hopefully we’ll have a lot of people there supporting us and hopefully more fans will be in green than in blue.”
Certainly Giants fans are quite resourceful and will find a way to have representation at this Jets home game for a game that is nearly the same for their own playoff chances. And it is true that the Giants are playing this road game in their home stadium.
As Plaxico Burress, the former Giant and current Jet, noted this afternoon: “I’ve played in one and it’s just a fun game. The New York Jets vs. the New York Giants and it’s a 50-50 kind of crowd and when something good happens, somebody is always cheering. This is an exciting game for the city and definitely for the organization. It’s basically, whoever wins this game wins those bragging rights for the next four years or so. So I’m going to just go out and get this victory in JetLife Stadium.”
But Rex and the Jets are hoping that the first Jets-Giants game at a Green & White home stadium not bearing the name of Big Blue on the outside will help turn this very important trick for their now two-game regular season.
“This is our stadium. I’m sure they feel the same thing,” Rex said. “But the way the stadium is, you’ve got our colors, our fans and everything else. This year we’re 6-1 at home and we’re trying to go 7-1. I think that will tell you that this is our stadium and obviously it’s been a big help for us this year.”
The Jets had 12 players on their first official injury report of the week, topped by rookie WR Jeremy Kerley, who was sent home for a second day with an unspecified illness and did not practice. Another WR with an illness was Burress, who was limited.
Other limited Jets included DT Mike DeVito (knee), G Brandon Moore (hip), S Eric Smith (knee), RB-KR Joe McKnight (elbow/shoulder) and CB Marquice Cole (knee). Among the full-gos was QB Mark Sanchez (neck).
Kerley and McKnight, of course, are two of the Jets’ primary returners, but Ryan was optimistic about Kerley and hopeful about McKnight.
“We feel great about having Cro [Antonio Cromartie] back there as the kick returner if McKnight can’t go,” Ryan said. “Jeremy, when I talked to the trainers, they feel like he’s going to be fine for the game. Even if he’s sick, let’s go, we’ll worry about that later.”
On McKnight, “That one I think’s going to be a gametime deal. He looked OK out there today. I think he’s getting better. But I’m not ready to say he’s going to play.”
Conspicuous by their absences on the list: C Nick Mangold had spend 12 consecutive game weeks on the I-list with his high ankle sprain suffered in Game 2 vs. the Jaguars, while LB Calvin Pace had been reported for seven straight games with a groin injury.
The “Twelve Days of Christmas” injury news from the Giants is that three tight ends, two running backs and one Umenyiora are among the 11 listed players. Among the TEs, Jake Ballard (knee) did not practice in team drills today while Travis Beckum (chest) and Bear Pascoe (ribs) were limited. The two backs are D.J. Ware (knee, DNP) and Ahmad Bradshaw (foot, limited).
Among the other DNPs were DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), WR Mario Manningham (knee) and LB Mark Herzlich (ankle). Other limited players were C David Baas (neck), S Derrick Martin (back) and WR Devin Thomas (neck).
Tags: Garrett McIntyre, Jeremy Kerley, John Conner, New York Giants, Osi Umenyiora, Plaxico Burress, Rex Ryan
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