Running back Joe McKnight went down to the wire as a game-time decision last Sunday before talking his way onto the field to play with what has been reported as a high ankle sprain. He’s back in a walking boot now, and will be on the sidelines along with fellow running back Bilal Powell for the Jets’ practice Wednesday as they begin preparations to play Miami Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Asked if McKnight suffered a setback by playing, coach Rex Ryan said, “No, I think it’s pre-existing. It probably got sore because of the fact he did play on it. It’s pretty sore, and he’s got that boot on right now.”
During McKnight’s rookie training camp, he was ridiculed as a player who was out of shape, but Ryan now points to him as an example of toughness. “Let’s face it,” Ryan said. “Last year, he had a hyperextended elbow and then a shoulder separation and he played. He is a tough guy. There’s no doubt.
“Was I surprised he gave it a shot? Not really, knowing Joe. But he showed all of his teammates the kind of commitment and the toughness he has to them.”
Powell was unable to play last week at New England because of a reported shoulder separation, which led to a running back-by-committee approach in support of starter Shonn Greene. With a bye week coming up after the Miami game, it seems unlikely Powell would play against the Dolphins.
Linebacker Bart Scott was limited to only nine plays against the Patriots because of his toe injury, prompting a question to Ryan about whether he expects it to linger all season. "You hope it gets better in time," Ryan said. "We think it will. I’ve seen [former Ravens tackle] Jonathan Ogden, a mountain of a man, with a toe injury that actually was the end of his career.
"Now, I’m not saying Bart’s is like that because I don’t think it is. Bart’s got a lot of football left. But it’s amazing how you think a toe injury is easy to play with. Let me tell you this. When it first happened, there’s probably very few players in the league that would have played with the injury Bart had. The fact he’s played three weeks in a row with it tells you about his kind of toughness."
Ryan said he expects Pace to play but admitted he suffered some nasty swelling from a kick in the shin. Ryan said he’s uncertain about the status of backup tight end Jeff Cumberland and his wrist injury but is “encouraged” by the progress nose tackle Sione Po’uha has shown to be able to practice on a limited basis.
Here is the full list of Jets injured players and their status for Wednesday’s practice:
Not practicing – DE Kenrick Ellis (knee), S Eric Smith (knee), RB Bilal Powell (shoulder), RB Joe McKnight (ankle), TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist), LB Bart Scott (toe), Lb Calvin Pace (shin) and C Nick Mangold (ankle). Limited – NT Sione Po’uha (low back) and WR Clyde Gates (shoulder). Full – QB Mark Sanchez (low back), RG Brandon Moore (hip), LG Matt Slauson (knee), WR Jeremy Kerley (finger) and S LaRon Landry (heel).