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Friday, September 19, 2008
Jets won't feel reprieve if LT can't play


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

 
 Paul Spinelli/Getty Images
 The Jets are wary of LT's speedy backup, Darren Sproles.

If San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson's bum right toe keeps him off the field Monday night, his absence likely will doom a lot of fantasy football lineups. Opposing GMs who drew that matchup this week might catch a break.

The New York Jets don't feel similarly. They're wary of backup RB Darren Sproles.

"To be able to go from Tomlinson to Sproles and have that same type of threat ... He's so dangerous, not just with the ball in his hands, on running plays, but they threw that little swing pass to him," Jets coach Eric Mangini said Thursday. "He has great quickness and he has an excellent burst."

Sproles out of the backfield had seven carries for 53 yards and two catches for 72 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown in Sunday's heartbreaking loss to the Denver Broncos. Sproles also returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown.

"Watching Darren Sproles, he reminds me of watching Dave Meggett," Jets NT Kris Jenkins said. "I didn't get to play against Meggett, but I watched film on him back in the day when they used to have NFL Films.

"They have a lot of weapons. We have to be ready for it."

The Jets are coming off a loss to the New England Patriots. Sure, the defending AFC champs didn't have all-everything QB Tom Brady, but they did field a team with RBs Laurence Maroney and LaMont Jordan, WRs Randy Moss and Wes Welker and three Pro Bowl O-linemen. The Jets held them to 19 points.

"You're talking about two very good offenses over time," Mangini said of the comparison between the Patriots and Chargers.

"San Diego, they are extremely efficient as well. It's their ability to turn the short plays into long plays which makes them really dangerous as well as being able to complement that with just pure throws down the field. [Chris] Chambers against Carolina, they hit the deep one. Chambers against Denver, they hit the deep one. Throw [Antonio] Gates in the mix.

"Take your pick. It's whoever you want to choose that can hurt you."