NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – It seems LaDainian Tomlinson will have to sit this one out.
The Jets running back has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, and his status for the team’s game at Denver on Thursday night is officially uncertain. But with a quick turnaround after he was injured late in the Jets’ 37-16 loss to New England on Sunday night, all signs point to Tomlinson missing the contest.
“If the game was Sunday, I don’t think I’d have a problem playing,” Tomlinson said. “Being that it is a short week, it adds a little more pressure and it is a little more difficult to do. If I don’t play this game, I absolutely will play against Buffalo (on Nov. 27).”
Though coach Rex Ryan would not rule him out for traveling with the team Wednesday or playing Thursday, the New York Daily News reported on Tuesday that Tomlinson “won’t play in Denver.”
“I’m sure Rex has a couple of ideas of what he wants to see before we leave,” Tomlinson said. “Hopefully I can do everything I need to do to convince him one way or another.”
The injury is to the same knee that hobbled him in the playoffs following the 2007 regular season, but Tomlinson said it’s far less serious.
“The one in the playoff game was pretty significant,” he said. “This one is not as bad.”
If he can’t play, Tomlinson would be replaced in the backfield with rookie Bilal Powell, who has been inactive all season. Tomlinson has taken a reduced role this season with Shonn Greene the full-time starter, but the 11-year veteran has been solid as a receiving threat out of the backfield. He has 167 yards rushing and a touchdown, and 25 catches for 312 yards and a score.
Before he was injured, Tomlinson moved past Hall of Famer Barry Sanders for fifth place on the NFL’s career list for yards from scrimmage.
“I know the kind of competitor he is,” Ryan said. “If he thinks he can help the team, he’s going to go. Obviously, you have to protect the player from himself, as well, so you have to lean on your trainers and your medical advice.”
Ryan already ruled out safety Brodney Pool, who missed the game against the Patriots, because of a sprained left knee.
Wide receivers Jeremy Kerley (left knee) and Patrick Turner (kidney), and tight end Shawn Nelson (illness) did not practice, and their statuses were also uncertain.
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