|Tomlinson suffered a sprained MCL last week and he may not play in Denver Thursday. (Getty Images)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
It looks like LaDainian Tomlinson, one half of the Jets' "Ground and Pound" running game, won't play Thursday against the Broncos. He didn't practice Tuesday and head coach Rex Ryan confirmed that Tomlinson sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee late in Sunday night's loss to the Patriots.
Ryan didn't rule Tomlinson out during his Tuesday press conference, but sources tell the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta that Tomlinson was a no-go for Denver. Tomlinson suffered a similar injury in the playoffs following the 2007 season, when he was with the Chargers. Reporters questioned Tomlinson's toughness at the time, and that led to a testy Norv Turner providing some frank answers.
|Recapping Week 10|
"That's the stupidest thing you could ask," he said. "The guy wasn't able to go. The doctors and trainers said he couldn't go."
It didn't help that San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers played through a sprained knee. It prompted teammate Luis Castillo to call Rivers "the most courageous teammate I've ever had and the most courageous man I've ever seen."
Following practice Tuesday, Tomlinson said the injury was to the same knee that sidelined him nearly four years ago.
“It’s not as serious as the one in the playoff game," he said. "The one in the playoff game was pretty significant. This one is not as bad. If the game was Sunday, for sure I know I’d be able to play. Since it’s on Thursday, I can’t say that I’m going to be able to make it.”
Tomlinson added that he didn't suffer a setback Tuesday and might lobby to travel with the team to Denver.
“I would love to," he said, "but the problem is when you start the game-planning… you kind of think one way: 'Well, he’s not out here. He’s not going to make it,'" Tomlinson said. "Then they move forward with the game plan. Then, all of a sudden, 'Oh he’s going to play.' It makes it tough. At the same time, I want to play. But I don’t want to hurt the team in trying to play (if I) can’t do anything.”
The Broncos lost their two top running backs, Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno, in the first quarter of Sunday's Chiefs game and all Denver did was run the ball 55 times. Whether the Jets show that kind of dedication remains to be seen, though we expect that Ryan will have a plan for slowing Tim Tebow and the read-option that currently has the Broncos on a two-game winning streak.
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