David Harris did not practice for the second straight day, but Jets coach Rex Ryan said he believes the linebacker will be suited up and ready to go on Saturday, sprained right ankle or not.
“I think he’ll go because of the guy he is,” the coach said during his Wednesday press conference with the media.
Harris, the Jets’ leading tackler, wasn’t on the field for practice or on the stationary bikes while the team worked outdoors Wednesday in frigid, windy conditions.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said Harris’ uncertain status for this weekend’s AFC wild-card match-up with Cincinnati is a “big concern,” despite signs the linebacker is recovering.
“It’s encouraging. I think he started to run a little bit today, but this time of year you want to be healthy and all guns a’blazing and for us to have one of our key guys a game-time decision, I think is an issue for us.”
“But,” he said, “we’ve got depth there, we’ve had a good week getting those guys reps. But at the same time you don’t just replace a David Harris. It’ll be big for us if he can go. If he can’t we’ve got guys – between Kewin Cummings and Ryan Fowler – that will have to step up.”
Harris, one of the leaders of the NFL’s top-ranked defense, injured his right ankle during the first half of the regular-season finale against the Bengals on Sunday and watched from the sideline in the second half.
In other injury news, WR Jerricho Cotchery (hip), Shaun Ellis (knee), Fowler (head) and CB Donald Strickland (quad) were all limited in practice Wednesday.
WR Braylon Edwards (elbow), special teamer James Ihedigbo (neck), RB Thomas Jones (knee), QB Mark Sanchez (knee) and P Steve Weatherford (hamstring) participated fully.