By Peter Schwartz

Head coach Rex Ryan reiterated that almost all of the starters would not play in Thursday’s pre-season finale against the Eagles in Philadelphia. The only exceptions are Vernon Gholston, Matt Slauson, Wayne Hunter, and Santonio Holmes who will get extensive playing time before serving a four game suspension to start the regular season.

Slauson figures to be the starting left guard on opening night against the Ravens. I spent a few minutes with him after practice.

Only 36 players will be available for Thursday night and Ryan estimates that there are about 5 roster spots up for grabs. The Jets will have to trim their roster down to 53 by Saturday.

5th round pick John Conner has been one of the pleasant stories of training camp. The fullback, nicknamed “The Terminator”, has played well and will likely start the season as the understudy for veteran Tony Richardson. I caught up with Conner after practice Monday.

Six players did not practice on Monday including Calvin Pace who was set to undergo surgery in North Carolina to repair a broken bone in his foot. Damien Woody also sat out practice as a precaution. He felt a little lower back pain on Monday morning so he was held out.

The other players to miss practice were Kenwin Cummings (shoulder), Brodney Pool (ankle), Donovan Warren (head), and Charlie Tanner (knee).

AD OR NO AD?

At this point, linebacker Adalius Thomas is not a Jet and it doesn’t appear that he will be one until, at least, after week one. If a player is on a team’s opening day roster, the money is guaranteed for the season. So, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Thomas will sign with someone, possibly the Jets, after week one.

THE JETS AND SI

“Sports Illustrated: The Covers” is a new book that chronicles the magazine’s 55 year history and the many athletes, coaches, and sports personalities that have graced the covers.

For Jets fans, it will be a great keepsake as Gang Green has made it onto the cover 19 times, most recently Mark Sanchez during last year’s playoffs (although that one is not in the book because it was published before the issue came out).

Joe Namath was on the cover many times including his first appearance on July 19th, 1965.

Some other notable Jets covers include:

*Mark Gastineau with Lawrence Taylor of the Giants (September 29th, 1986).

*WFAN’s own Boomer Esiason with his son Gunnar (October 4th, 1993).

*Keyshawn Johnson (January 8th, 1999).

and…

*Brett Favre in “Brett The Jet” in the September 15th 2008 issue.

A TIDBIT ABOUT HARD KNOCKS

In the aftermath of last week’s incorrect report that Darrelle Revis was going to sign on Wednesday and another report that he had taped a television interview on Tuesday that would be aired on Wednesday, the subject of when episodes of Hard Knocks are completed came into question.

At practice Monday, an HBO spokesperson told reporters that each week’s episode is basically done on Tuesdays with narrator Liev Schreiber doing the voiceovers on Wednesday morning.

So for example, if Revis were to sign a new contract Wednesday morning, it would not make in into that night’s episode. Last week, Nick Mangold’s contract extension just made it in. He signed the deal on Tuesday and the Hard Knocks cameras were there to catch him putting pen to paper and then addressing reporters after the game.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for a preview of Thursday’s game with the Eagles.

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