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Thursday, September 24, 2009
Jets hurting in the secondary



Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham


There might be a negligible chance New York Jets nickel back Donald Strickland could suit up Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

But New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is being realistic.

"I don’t think Strickland is going to be able to play this week," Ryan said at his Thursday news conference. "I’m not declaring him out right now, but I don’t think there’s any way he’s playing this week."

Neither Strickland (ankle) nor right cornerback Lito Sheppard (quadriceps) practiced for a second straight day. Both were hurt in Sunday's 16-9 victory over the New England Patriots at the Meadowlands.

The Titans aren't a prolific downfield passing team. When throwing 11 yards or longer down field, Titans quarterback Kerry Collins is 10 of 21 for 188 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. Running back Chris Johnson leads them with 10 receptions. Receiver Justin Gage has nine catches for 105 yards.

Ryan said if Sheppard can't play, then second-year pro Dwight Lowery will start for him opposite Pro Bowl left cornerback Darrelle Revis. Lowery started the first 10 games of his rookie season before the Jets signed Ty Law off the street.

Lowery would be Strickland's replacement if Sheppard can play. If both Strickland and Sheppard are unavailable, then Drew Coleman will be the nickel back.