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Jets release injured fullback John Conner

Jets running back John Conner runs drills at

Jets running back John Conner runs drills at practice during training camp at the Atlantic Health Training Facility. (Aug. 13, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Joe Epstein

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets reached an injury settlement with fullback John Conner Wednesday and promoted linebacker Marcus Dowtin from the practice squad.

Rex Ryan dubbed Conner "The Terminator" during their 2010 appearance on HBO's "Hard Knocks" because of his bruising hits. But the fullback hasn't seen much action this season because of lingering issues (MCL sprain, hamstring). Not to mention, the Jets are high on free-agent fullback Lex Hilliard, whom they signed Oct. 2.

The coach said the settlement doesn't preclude the Jets from re-signing Conner, "but quite honestly, we needed the [roster] spot," he said.

The Jets also added cornerback Donnie Fletcher to the practice squad.

O'Connell coming back?

Ryan wouldn't confirm or deny that a deal may be imminent with former backup quarterback Kevin O'Connell, whose visit raises questions about Tim Tebow's status.

"Always a possibility," he said of acquiring O'Connell. "With us, you look at any way you can help your football team, I think you're going to explore that. Kevin's a guy that we feel really good about. You have to be prepared down the road as well."

Jet streams

Rookie DE Quinton Coples was retroactively credited with a sack in the Jets' win over the Colts and a half-sack was taken away from Aaron Maybin. That brings Coples' total to two . . . The Patriots have the 28th-ranked passing defense. "We have to be balanced. I've always thought [that]," Mark Sanchez said. "I'll defer to Coach Sparano, but the way we rushed it last week [against the Colts] was nice. It always makes my job easy. But if we need to throw it, we'll throw it." . . . WR Stephen Hill, TE Dustin Keller, LB Bryan Thomas (hamstrings) and LB Bart Scott (toe) were limited in practice. DT Kenrick Ellis (knee), WR Clyde Gates (shoulder), C Nick Mangold (ankle), RB Joe McKnight (ankle), DT Sione Pouha (back), RB Bilal Powell (shoulder) and S Eric Smith (knee) did not practice.

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