New York Jets running back Joe McKnight is making every effort to play in Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, but it looks like the high-ankle sprain he suffered last week against the Indianapolis Colts will keep him out of the rivalry matchup between both 3-3 AFC East teams locked in a four-way tie in the division.
McKnight is on the hot seat in a contract year, so the extra effort to play Sunday is definitely appreciated. It’s rare for a player, especially an RB, to return from a high ankle-sprain the next week, but that’s exactly what the third-year back is trying to do. Usually, he would be highly doubtful, but he has continued to show that he really wants to play on Sunday.
“I’m playing. For first place, I’m in there.”
That’s admirable indeed, and there is an added importance to having McKnight back so soon. Bilal Powell will be out of the game with a shoulder injury, which would leave just rookie UDFA Jonathan Grimes behind starter Shonn Greene, who broke out in a big way against the Colts defense last week. However, the Colts run D is considerably weaker than the vaunted run D that the Pats front seven enforces, so Greene won’t be able to rush for 150+ yards Sunday. At least, there is an extremely low chance of that happening.
So having McKnight back would ease a lot of pressure on Mark Sanchez and the offense, and the fact that he is listed as a game-time decision is something of a testament to his toughness and determination. Two words that show the maturity in McKnight heading into a critical year of his career. He’s ran the ball well when given the chance this year with 90 yards on ten carries.
Wide receiver Clyde Gates and star center Nick Mangold are both listed questionable for this game, with Mangold being a huge key for the Jets running game. The best center in the league, he has been easily the best offensive lineman in run blocking for the Jets this season. That’s going to be especially important against Vince Wilfork, Brandon Spikes, and Kyle Love on the interior.
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