Notebook: A Sunday without football

October, 31, 2011
If you think every player spent his bye-week Sunday watching football on the tube, think again. Several players said they couldn't watch TV because they were without power, the result of the freak snowstorm that hit Northern New Jersey.

"It was weird, kind of surreal," S Jim Leonhard said, adding that "my world kind of ended" around 3 p.m. Saturday.

Leonhard said he had no idea the Patriots had lost to the Steelers until Monday morning. Rex Ryan said he had no power, but was able to watch some of the games, not explaining how.

"I could only stand to watch half of my brother’s game. Whew!" he cracked, referring to the Cowboys' 34-7 loss to the Eagles.

His brother, of course, is Rob Ryan, the Cowboys' defensive coordinator.

Ryan caught some of the Patriots-Steelers game. Yes, he liked.

"That was a great formula. I love it," he said. "Pittsburgh has the formula to beat New England. I’ll give them credit for it. I don’t know what the time of possession was (39:22), but man, I’d sign up for that one. I mean, they did a great job. The offense kept the football forever. The defense really challenged New England. But it’s much easier said than done."

INJURY REPORT: DT Mike DeVito (sprained knee), DT Kenrick Ellis (sprained ankle) and CB Isaiah Trufant (hamstring) didn't practice. Rex Ryan said he's "very optimistic" that DeVito will play Sunday against the Bills. Doesn't look good for Ellis and Trufant ... LB David Harris (ankle), DT Ropati Pitoitua (knee), DT Marcus Dixon (knee), C Nick Mangold (ankle) and WR Plaxico Burress (back) all practiced.

FULL NELSON: Former Bills TE Shawn Nelson, signed Monday, practiced with the team. Ryan said he's had his eye on Nelson since the 2009 draft, when he was chosen in the fourth round by the Bills. He described the 6-foot-5 Nelson as "a basketball-type guy" with pass-blocking skills. Nelson will replace Jeff Cumberland, who suffered a season-ending Achilles-tendon tear in Week 3.

BYE, BYE BAXTER: Ryan confirmed that the Jets tried to re-sign backup C Colin Baxter to their practice squad. Baxter, waived last week, ended up signing with the Chargers' practice squad. Ryan said he understood Baxter's decision from a future playing-time standpoint. With Mangold entrenched at center, Baxter wouldn't have a chance with the Jets. At the same time, the Jets valued Baxter as a developmental player and they took a risk by exposing him to waivers -- and it backfired.

SO MUCH FOR NOSTALGIA: The Jets gave Shaun Ellis' old number, 92, to a practice-squad LB named Ricky Sapp. Ellis played 11 seasons for the Jets. If you're going to give it away, at least give it to a veteran or a high draft pick.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter



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