The New York Jets made an addition to their injury report Thursday -- running back Chris Ivory, who apparently injured a hamstring Wednesday.

The Jets didn't practice on Christmas Day, so the practice status is a projection -- and Ivory is listed as limited participation. He didn't appear on Wednesday's injury report.

Ivory is the Jets' leading rusher (792 yards) and he also has scored a team-high six touchdowns.

The major injury questions are center Nick Mangold (high-ankle sprain) and wide receiver Percy Harvin (ribs, ankle). Neither one has practiced this week.

The injury report:

New York Jets

Did not practice: Harvin (ankle, ribs), Mangold (ankle, finger), S Rontez Miles (shin), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (toe, illness).

Limited practice: Ivory, DE Muhammad WilkersonG Willie Colon (knee), S Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder), CB Darrin Walls (shoulder).

Full practice: S Antonio Allen (hand), K Nick Folk (right hip), RB Chris Johnson (knee).

Miami Dolphins

Did not practice: DE Derrick Shelby (ankle).

Limited practice: TE Charles Clay (hamstring, knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (foot), DT Earl Mitchell (back), DT Jared Odrick (ankle), G Dallas Thomas (foot), RB Daniel Thomas (knee).

Full practice: WR Mike Wallace (back), CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), LB Jonathan Freeny (hamstring), LB Koa Misi (hamstring, knee), S Don Jones (shoulder).

Willie Colon's goal: Go the distance

December, 25, 2014
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Willie Colon is Rocky Balboa and the 2014 season is the first "Rocky" movie, a 15-round endurance test. Colon's goal is to go the distance, to be standing when it's over around 4 p.m. Sunday at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

If it sounds like a modest goal, you don't know Colon's background. He hasn't played a full season since 2009. The New York Jets right guard came agonizingly close last season, making it to the fourth quarter of the final game, which happened to be at Sun Life. But, with five minutes to play, he tore a biceps tendon.

"You want to finish on your feet," Colon said this week. "That's something I wear on my shoulders. No matter how the fight goes, just finishing on your feet, that's become a goal of mine.

"Last year was such a heartbreak because there were only a few minutes left and I blew out my biceps. I thought about it every time I trained. Everything I put into this year, that's one of my main goals -- finish. I haven't done that in a long time. It would mean a lot."

From a team perspective, the Jets (3-12) have been a major disappointment, but there are little success stories within the big story -- and Colon is one of those.

Colon, 31, is a tough dude who made it out of the South Bronx and played his college ball locally at Hofstra. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and won a Super Bowl, but the story turned hard-luck.

He ruptured an Achilles' tendon in June, 2010, and missed the entire season.

He tore a triceps in Week 1 of the 2011 season, and he was done for that year.

He missed five games in 2012 with a knee issue, leading to his release from the Steelers.

It looked good last season, but the Miami Dolphins called a safety blitz with five minutes left in the finale and Colon extended his left arm, hoping to slow him down.

"[The biceps tendon] was jumping around in my arm," he said. "I tried to play through it. I played three more plays after the injury, but when I looked down, my arm was just flapping around."

Colon underwent surgery after the season. Two months into his rehab, he hurt his knee while training and required arthroscopic surgery. Suddenly, he was rehabbing two body parts.

"It's been a turbulent year," he said. "I put so much into the offseason, put so much into the entire year, emotionally and personally. To go the distance, it would be a blessing."

Jets vs. Dolphins preview

December, 25, 2014
Dec 25
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When: 1 p.m. ET Sunday. Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida. TV: CBS

The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins will be in the same situation Sunday, playing a meaningless football game to end the season. Once the game ends, the franchises will head in different directions.

The Dolphins (8-7) will pack up and start thinking about next season under Joe Philbin, who will return for his fourth season despite a record of 23-24 and no playoff appearances. The Jets (3-12) face an uncertain offseason, as coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik are likely to be fired on Black Monday.

It's a grim backdrop for an AFC East rivalry that used to matter. ESPN.com Jets reporter Rich Cimini and Dolphins reporter James Walker discuss the matchup and the stories swirling around the teams.

Cimini: So, James, why is Dolphins owner Stephen Ross keeping Philbin? Is he content with mediocrity?

Walker: The feedback has been mixed in South Florida on this decision, Rich. I thought Ross would wait until the final game to see if Philbin can complete his first winning season. But Ross, in fact, said he made the decision before last week’s win against the Minnesota Vikings. It wasn’t a huge surprise, because Ross has always been a huge supporter of Philbin. Ross backed Philbin through last season’s bullying scandal, and you can add this non-playoff season to the list. Ross also wants to give continuity a try after the firings of former coach Tony Sparano and former general manager Jeff Ireland didn’t result in playoff appearances. Philbin is in the last year of his contract in 2015. So if things don’t work out, there can be a clean break from both sides.

Most likely, this is Ryan’s final game with the Jets. How do you expect the team to respond?

Cimini: I expect the Jets to play spirited football. I'm not sure if that will translate into winning football -- they're 3-12 for a reason -- but they always play hard for Ryan. I've been around losing teams that don't give a damn about the coach, but that isn't the case with the Jets. There is a genuine affinity for Ryan. We saw that a year ago, when the Jets -- with nothing at stake -- saved his job with a convincing win against the Dolphins in the final game. This time, there won't be an 11th-hour reprieve.

So, James, it appears that Miami QB Ryan Tannehill has made nice strides this season. Was offensive coordinator Bill Lazor the missing piece?

Walker: Lazor, in some ways, has been Miami’s MVP this season. His system works. Miami’s points per game have gone up from 19.8 to 24.3 with pretty much the same skill players. Lazor also pushed Tannehill to set career highs in touchdowns (26) and passer rating (93.2). Last week’s performance (396 yards, four touchdowns) was as good as I’ve seen Tannehill play in three seasons. He has certainly solidified his case to be Miami’s starting quarterback next season, and I expect the Dolphins to at least pick up his fifth-year option for 2016. Lazor is direct and a clear communicator, and that is what the players needed. I expect Miami’s offense to be pretty good next season with another offseason of drafting and signing players who better fit Lazor's scheme.

Jets QB Geno Smith has a knack for strange quotes. Does he overrate his performances? What is his future in New York?

Cimini: You're right, James, he tends to put his foot in his mouth, but this isn't an easy market for a quarterback. Every word is dissected by the media. Say the wrong thing, and you end up on the back pages of the tabloids. Smith is learning, on and off the field. Contrary to one of his recent quotes, he hasn't shown flashes of being a Pro Bowl quarterback, but he has displayed signs of being a competent quarterback. He has improved slightly from his rookie year in completion percentage, touchdown percentage, interception percentage and passer rating, but he is 2-10 as the starter and the offense has regressed. His future hinges on the next coach and system. He will be on the team in 2015, but he won't be handed anything.

Speaking of 2015, what are some key decisions facing the Dolphins in the offseason?

Walker: This team has pretty good talent, and there aren’t quarterback questions going into next season. So I don’t think a major overhaul is needed. However, there will be tough decisions looming with pending free agents and high-priced veterans. For example, starting tight end Charles Clay and defensive tackle Jared Odrick are both key free agents. Miami also must decide what to do with expensive contracts for 2015 such as receiver Brian Hartline, cornerback Cortland Finnegan and linebackers Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe. The Dolphins were built to win this season, and it didn’t pan out. Their salary-cap situation isn’t the best for 2015, and I think Miami will lose some veteran depth. The key will be replacing that depth with quality draft picks and young players already on the roster who are coming of age.

If you had to pick the biggest reason the Jets are 3-12, what would it be?

Cimini: Their young players didn't grow up -- or they got injured. The Jets were counting on strong seasons from Smith, cornerback Dee Milliner, guard Brian Winters and their top picks in 2014, namely Calvin Pryor and tight end Jace Amaro. Milliner and Winters got hurt, Smith hasn't improved as much as expected, and the rookies were underwhelming. General manager John Idzik took a conservative approach in free agency, thinking the aforementioned players would develop quickly -- and it backfired. They simply didn't have enough depth on the roster to overcome the lack of contributions. That is the danger of building through the draft: The draft picks have to ... you know, pan out.

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The NFL Live crew make their picks for the New York Jets at Miami.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets center Nick Mangold (high ankle sprain) remained in a walking boot Wednesday, but he's still holding out hope he can play in the season finale Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

"Hope so," said Mangold, who was talking gingerly around the locker room.

Neither Mangold nor wide receiver Percy Harvin (ribs) practiced Wednesday. The Jets are off Thursday, Christmas Day. Friday is the final practice of the season. Rex Ryan didn't rule out Harvin or Mangold.

"This time of year, most guys are mailing it in," Ryan said. "These guys are doing just the opposite."

The official injury report:

New York Jets

Did not practice: Harvin (ankle, ribs), Mangold (ankle, finger), S Rontez Miles (shin), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (toe, illness).

Limited practice: G Willie Colon (knee), S Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder), CB Darrin Walls (shoulder).

Full practice: S Antonio Allen (hand), K Nick Folk (right hip), RB Chris Johnson (knee).

Miami Dolphins

Did not practice: DE Derrick Shelby (ankle).

Limited practice: TE Charles Clay (hamstring, knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (foot), S Don Jones (shoulder), DT Earl Mitchell (back), DT Jared Odrick (ankle), G Dallas Thomas (foot), RB Daniel Thomas (knee), WR Mike Wallace (back).

Full practice: CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), LB Jonathan Freeny (hamstring), LB Koa Misi (hamstring, knee).
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Let's not sugarcoat it: Rex Ryan was ticked off that defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson didn't make the Pro Bowl.

Richardson
Without identifying the player, the New York Jets' coach said one of the six defensive tackles that made the roster "can't hold (Richardson's) jock." Just a guess here, but he might have been referring to St. Louis Rams rookie Aaron Donald.

"He causes a ton of production, no doubt about that," Ryan said Wednesday of Richardson, who was named a first alternate. "He does the dirty work and doesn't mind it. Never complains. If it kept him out of the Pro Bowl because some guy had X amount of sacks, and that guy can't hold his jock, to be honest with you, as a player, I think that's kind of strange to me.

"I guess you guys will figure out who I'm talking about. I see the tapes. This guy deserves to be in there, no doubt about it."

Aside from Donald, the other defensive tackles are Kyle Williams, Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh, Marcell Dareus and Dontari Poe -- all of whom have made multiple Pro Bowls. Yep, Donald seemed to be the subject of Ryan's ire. In case you're wondering, Donald has eight sacks, Richardson seven.

Ryan believes the Jets' 3-12 record probably worked as a bias against Richardson. Nevetheless, Ryan said, "I'm just kind of shocked he didn't get in. I really thought he'd get in there. ... I think the people that never voted for him, they must not have seen him play. It's the only thing I can figure."

Richardson was visibly disappointed, admitting the snub caught him by surprise.

"I told you, I'm one of the best defensive linemen in the game. That's how I feel," said Richardson, who last week compared himself to Houston Texans star J.J. Watt.

Richardson believes he was "dominant in every game I played in." He finished fourth in the fan voting, which he apparently didn't get as much support from the players and coaches. He vowed to never miss another Pro Bowl.

"I'm only getting better, baby, I'm only getting better," he said.

It's possible that Richardson's brash personality turned off his peer. He acknowledged that may have factored into it, but he claimed it's just the way he is.

"I might have to break the (single-game sack) record to get some recognition," he said. "I might have to get eight and break Derrick Thomas' record."

Geno Smith sees himself in N.Y.

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith is one of the big reasons the New York Jets are 3-12. He acknowledges that. He also believes he can be the quarterback that leads them back to respectability.

"I see myself being the quarterback here for a long time," Smith said Wednesday. "I see myself helping this team turn things around. Obviously, I'm part of the reason why we're in this position, so I'd love to be part of the solution."

Smith's answer probably won't sit well with a fan base that wants a quarterback change. There probably will be a new coach and new general manager, so it's hard to project into 2015, but any new regime almost certainly would try to upgrade the position.

The Jets, who will have a top-6 pick, could draft a quarterback. Or they could acquire a veteran to start immediately or compete with Smith. Either way, nothing will be handed to Smith, as it was this season.

Smith said he can be the answer, and he doesn't think the team is that far away from contending.

"I know that it takes hard work and not everyone is going to see the same things, but within this locker room, within this group of guys, we all see the potential we have as a team," he said.

"Obviously, that's not saying much with the record we have right now, but we believe we can turn things around."

This has been a turbulent season for Smith, on and off the field. He's ranked 31st in Total QBR (29.7), ahead of only Jacksonville Jaguars rookie Blake Bortles. Smith lost his job for three games and has thrown an interception in 10 of 12 starts. His record is 2-10.


(Read full post)


Michael Vick lukewarm on possible return to Jets

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The typical interview with a free agent-to-be goes something like this:

Reporter: "Would you like to re-sign with Team X?"

Player: "Of course, I really like it here. I'd love to stay, but we'll see where the chips fall."

Players almost always say they want to return (even if they don't) because, hey, why eliminate a potential suitor? It's all about leverage. But that's not how it went Tuesday with Michael Vick, who seemed lukewarm on the prospect of re-signing with the New York Jets.

[+] EnlargeMichael Vick
AP Photo/Bill KostrounMichael Vick sounded lukewarm about a possible return to the New York Jets. Vick is finishing up a one-year, $4 million contract.
“I don’t know, I couldn’t say right now," he said. "I’d have to talk to my agent and see what’s the best situation for me. Obviously, this organization has to do what’s best for them. I really can’t say right now, but hopefully I have a chance to play somewhere and continue to give that effort.”

Vick was just being honest because, let's face it, there's a cloud of uncertainty hovering over the Jets. Vick's primary connection to the team, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, probably won't be back. Chances are, neither will Vick, who is finishing up a one-year, $4 million contract.

The Jets' quarterback depth chart in 2015 will include Geno Smith and a significant other, whether it's a highly drafted rookie or a veteran import who isn't in the twilight of his career.

For what it's worth, Vick, 34, still believes he can contribute in the NFL.

“I still feel like I can start,” he said. “I still feel like I can play at a high level, like I said. I think with the right talent around me and good structure I feel like I can win some games.

“I still feel like I have a lot left in the tank. I can’t say it’s five years worth, but maybe it’s a good solid two. I’m just going to train for that, get ready for that and set my mindset. If it doesn’t happen and I have to grind my way back up to a starting position, then that’s what it will be. I think at the end of the day my mindset is to just continue to play football. I love the game. I want to continue to play until it’s all out of me.”
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- A few lingering thoughts on the New York Jets' contingency hiring of Charley Casserly as a consultant:

1. It's not hard to connect the dots, people. John Idzik is finished as the general manager. An organization wouldn't entertain the thought of bringing on board a former general manager if it had faith in its current GM. For argument's sake, let's say owner Woody Johnson is planning to fire only Rex Ryan. Under normal circumstances, the subsequent coaching search would be coordinated by the sitting GM. That won't happen because Johnson is committed to Casserly's involvement in the event of a coaching and/or GM search, usurping Idzik's power. Could you imagine Idzik and Casserly sitting next to each other while interviewing a coaching candidate? Not happening. Idzik is a goner.

Harbaugh
2. Forget about Jim Harbaugh. If Johnson were plotting a bold move for Harbaugh, do you think he'd be willing to pay a consultant? Harbaugh is the best guy for the job, but he doesn't fit the Johnson profile, which is to say he's a big-money coach with previous head-coaching experience. Chances are, the Jets will end up going the coordinator route.

3. Bringing Casserly into the process is a good idea. Adding former Green Bay Packers GM Ron Wolf would be nice, too. But, in the end, Johnson has to make the call. It's his team and he has to set the course for the future. Can he make two good hires? Hard to say. Ryan was a good hire, but Idzik backfired. Johnson should follow the Arizona Cardinals' model: Find the best up-and-coming talent-evaluator and make him the GM, like Steve Keim (he happened to be an in-house hire), and let him find the best available, offensive-minded head coach, a Bruce Arians type. And away you go.

Jets make point with Charley Casserly move

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
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ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini says reaching out to Charley Casserly as a consultant is a clear sign the Jets plan to make big changes -- and that those changes won't include Jim Harbaugh.

Getting to know the Dolphins

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Miami Dolphins are the New York Jets from a year ago.

The Dolphins are 8-7 with a holdover coach (Joe Philbin) who was paired with a new offensive coordinator (Bill Lazor) and a new general manager (Dennis Hickey). The Jets had the same deal last season with Rex Ryan, Marty Mornhinweg and John Idzik, respectively. The only difference is, Woody Johnson waited until the last game to announce the whole gang was returning; Dolphins owner Stephen Ross did it last week after their win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The Dolphins can only hope the encore works out better than it did for the Jets.



A closer look at the Dolphins:

Head coach: Philbin (23-24)

Offensive coordinator: Lazor

Defensive coordinator: Kevin Coyle

THREE PLAYERS TO KNOW, OFFENSE

Ryan Tannehill, quarterback -- He's one of the most improved players in the AFC East, maybe the entire conference. Statistically, this is a career year for the former first-round pick. He passed for 396 yards and a career-high four touchdowns last week, helping the Dolphins to a franchise-record 36 first downs.

Jarvis Landry, wide receiver -- He was Odell Beckham Jr.'s running mate at LSU. How did they lose any games? Landry is tied with his former college teammate for most catches by a rookie (79). It's amazing that he lasted until the second round. On the downside, he fumbled a kickoff and muffed a punt last week.

Mike Wallace, wide receiver -- The Dolphins have one of the top deep threats in the league, yet they've managed to turn him into a possession receiver. Yeah, he has 10 touchdowns, but he's averaging only 12.9 yards per catch. The Jets had better address their cornerback issues in the offseason because it looks like the Dolphins have quite a tandem with Wallace and Landry.

THREE PLAYERS TO KNOW, DEFENSE

Cameron Wake, defensive end -- Dude can rush the passer, pure and simple. He has 11.5 sacks and was named to his fourth Pro Bowl. He triggered a $750,000 bonus last week with a sack. The Jets are concerned about Wake, who probably will be matched against tackle Breno Giacomini.

Brent Grimes, cornerback -- He has five interceptions and was named to his third Pro Bowl. Aside from Darrelle Revis, he's the best corner in the division. He covered Percy Harvin almost exclusively in the previous meeting, a show of respect for Harvin.

Terrence Fede, defensive end -- Who? He's a local product (Nyack, New York) who attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie and was drafted in the seventh round last spring. Last week, he made one of the biggest plays of the year, blocking a punt for a safety in the final minute to lift the Dolphins to a two-point. Maybe, just maybe he saved Philbin's job.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets owner Woody Johnson apparently is trying to assemble a dream team of consultants.

In addition to Charley Casserly, who will advise Johnson for the anticipated head coach and general manager searches, Johnson is looking to add another consultant of Casserly's ilk. The names of Bill Parcells, Bill Polian and Ernie Accorsi have been mentioned in media circles, but I don't believe those are possibilities for various reasons. As noted earlier, one name to watch is former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf, a legendary figure in scouting circles.

Like Casserly, Wolf is a member of the NFL's career development advisory panel, which is comprised of eight former coaches and general managers. The panel was created a year ago to help identify coaching and general manager candidates for teams.

I don't think Wolf is a done deal yet for the Jets, but they seem interested. It wouldn't be a surprise if something is finalized over the weekend. A Wolf-Casserly tandem would be a great start for the Jets.
» Pro Bowl analysis: AFC | NFC » Complete roster

SELECTIONS

Nick Mangold, C, sixth Pro Bowl selection: Mangold ties former center Kevin Mawae for the second-most all-star selections in New York Jets history. (Winston Hill was named to eight AFL/NFL all-star teams in the 1960s and 1970s.) Mangold has been the most consistent member of the offensive line, one of the big reasons why the Jets rank third in rushing offense (145 yards per game). This has been a lousy year for the Jets, but Mangold has stood out amid the gloom. He suffered a high-ankle sprain last week and may not play Sunday in the final game, an injury that could jeopardize his Pro Bowl availability.

Who he beat out: Kansas City Chiefs center Rodney Hudson is having a terrific year, spearheading one of the league's better rushing attacks.

SNUBS

Sheldon Richardson, DT: Earlier Tuesday, Richardson said he'd be surprised if he didn't receive his first Pro Bowl selection. If overlooked, he vowed not to miss it again. Well, he was overlooked -- and that was a surprise. Richardson, the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, should have made the roster. He has a team-high seven sacks, double his rookie production, along with 48 quarterback hits. He also has drawn seven holding penalties, the most by a Jet since John Abraham in 2005. Richardson may have reached last week when he said he's on the same level as J.J. Watt, but he definitely should be one of the six defensive tackles on the Pro Bowl roster. Richardson is a second alternate.

Who he should've beaten out: St. Louis Rams rookie Aaron Donald. Yes, Donald has eight sacks, one more than Richardson, but he plays in an attack-style scheme that doesn't place a premium on run defense. Richardson is an all-around player.

Muhammad Wilkerson, DT: Interestingly, the Jets listed Wilkerson as a tackle on the ballot, not as an end, figuring it would help his chances of breaking through. He finished fourth in the fan voting at tackle, but he still fell short. Obviously, his turf-toe injury, which cost him three games late in the season, came at the worst possible time. It hurt his numbers, but five sacks in 12 games isn't bad for a player who often rushes against interior linemen. Wilkerson was named a third alternate. Other alternates are tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (fifth) and running back Chris Ivory (eighth). General manager John Idzik gets beat up a lot, but at least give him credit for Ivory and Richardson.

Who he should've beaten out: Chiefs DT Dontari Poe. If Poe is such an awesome run stuffer, why are the Chiefs ranked 28th in run defense? The Jets are ranked fifth, and a lot of that is due to Wilkerson.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- One of the storylines at the start of training camp was the Muhammad Wilkerson contract situation: Would the New York Jets reward their best player with an extension?

Wilkerson
Wilkerson waited. And waited. And waited. Still no extension.

On Tuesday, he acknowledged for the first time that he expected a new deal. He said he's not upset that it hasn't happened.

"No, I'm not disappointed," Wilkerson said. "I mean, I thought it would be done, but it wasn't, so, hey, it is what it is. I'm patiently waiting. If it happens, it happens."

The Jets exercised a fifth-year option last spring, meaning he's under contract through 2015. His salary for next season is $6.96 million. Presumably, the front office -- whether John Idzik is calling the shots or not -- will try to lock him up long term before the start of the 2015 season. If not, the Jets can use the franchise tag, but that would cost north of $13.1 million -- the franchise number for a defensive end in 2014.

Wilkerson's numbers are down this season (five sacks), but he missed three games due to a turf-toe injury.

"I think I played well, but it's not an individual sport," he said. "It's all about team. I think, collectively, things didn't go our way this year, but it's something we can learn from, moving forward."

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