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Jets' Greene knows he has to stop fumbling

Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets

Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets runs the ball against the Buffalo Bills. (December 3, 2009) Photo Credit: Getty Images

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Shonn Greene is bothered by the lost fumbles, annoyed he's putting the ball on the ground at a baffling rate.

The Jets rookie running back is perplexed because he had a viselike grip on the ball in college, never fumbling once in 376 carries in three years at Iowa. That included his workhorse 2008 season when he ran 307 times for 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Greene has fumbled three times during his first 71 carries as a pro, losing each one, with the latest in Sunday's win at Tampa. So he's averaging a fumble once every 23 attempts.

"It's just something that I have to keep my mind on," Greene said. "Sometimes when I'm running, I forget that aspect because I'm trying to run as hard as I can and get all the yardage that I can. But at the same time, I've got to realize that I have the team's faith in my hand. So I've just got to be conscious of that and protect the ball.

"The thing I've got to do is learn in this league you can't always try to fight for extra yardage and . . . they're coming for the ball. I've just got to learn it."

The Jets signed Chauncey Washington, a former USC teammate of Mark Sanchez, off the Cowboys' practice squad Tuesday. Could the Jets be putting pressure on their 2009 third-round pick?

"No, not really. If he'll hold onto the ball better, I would say yeah, absolutely," Rex Ryan joked. "Shonn is a talented back. He never had the issues in college. Just one of those things."

 

Extra points

Falcons QB Matt Ryan (toe), RB Michael Turner (ankle), DEs John Abraham (illness) and Jamaal Anderson (chest) and DT Jonathan Babineaux didn't practice Wednesday.

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