Joe McKnight on ankle sprain: I'll rest on the bye week

Joe McKnight carries the ball during the second Joe McKnight carries the ball during the second half of a game against the Miami Dolphins. (Sept. 23, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Joe McKnight refuses to sit.

Despite his sore and swollen ankle -- and the crutches he's been using to get around -- the Jets' running back and kick return specialist vowed Wednesday that he'll suit up against Miami.

McKnight carried seven times for 23 yards, including one 13-yard burst, against the Patriots, and also averaged 29 yards on four kickoff returns, including a 41-yarder. And he did all that after convincing the coaching staff to let him play.

"I kind of forced it that whole week, telling them I was going to play," he said. "I was in pain, but if [special teams coordinator Mike] Westhoff can beat his leg cancer, I can play through a little ankle sprain."

McKnight admitted he has to let his ankle "calm down before I can do anything else." But even though he didn't practice, he has no doubt -- at least for now -- that he'll be active against the Dolphins.

"I'll rest on the bye week," he said.

Sanchez: They trust me

Mark Sanchez said he had no issues with lining up as a wide receiver on that critical regulation drive after the Jets recovered a Patriots' fumble late in an eventual 29-26 overtime loss.

"I mean, we threw it 41 times, so I think they have plenty of trust in me," said the quarterback, who was replaced by Tim Tebow, who lined up in the shotgun.

Fans and media criticized the Jets for taking the ball out of Sanchez's hands, but he didn't appear fazed. "I don't look at stuff like that," he said. "They're trying to put us in a position to win and calling the best plays we possibly can. We're all in this thing together. He's not (saying), 'We can't do this because of Mark.' I don't think that's his thought process at all."

Too early to tell on Tebow

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Tim Tebow is an excellent punt protector. That we know. What remains to be seen is whether the backup quarterback can consistently be effective in other areas. In the face of criticisms about the Tebow trade, Rex Ryan remains (at least publicly) convinced that it's too early to call it a wash.

"We've played seven games. We'll see at the end," the coach said, adding that he's happy Tebow is on the team. "I'll stand by my comments that he's a tremendous football player. He's a quarterback and an outstanding football player.

" . . . Would I like to see him average eight yards per carry with it? I absolutely would," he said of Tebow, who is averaging eight offensive snaps a game and has 76 rushing yards on 22 carries. "I know teams are preparing for it."

 

Jet streams

Thanks to a New Jersey fifth-grader's letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL referees will use pink penalty flags during Sunday's Jets-Dolphins game, as part of their continued efforts to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month . . . NT Kenrick Ellis (knee), S Eric Smith (knee), RB Bilal Powell (shoulder), McKnight (ankle), TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist), LB Bart Scott (toe), LB Calvin Pace (shin) and C Nick Mangold (ankle) did not practice. NT Sione Po'uha (back) was limited . . . Patriots LB Brandon Spikes was retroactively credited for a sack that was credited to DE Rob Ninkovich with 8:18 remaining in the fourth quarter of last week's Jets loss.

With Greg Logan

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