- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets running back Shonn Greene will miss Sunday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a low-grade skin infection on his right foot, the team announced late Thursday.
The infection was caught early and is being treated with antibiotics, according to a team spokesman. Greene didn't attend practice Thursday afternoon, but he was seen at the team's morning walk-through, limping slightly. The team didn't say if he would be sidelined beyond Sunday night.
A team spokesman said the medical staff doesn't know if it's a staph infection because skin infections can't be cultured.
Dr. Lee Weiss, an emergency medicine physician at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, specializes in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He said there are two types of basic skin infections: staphylococcus and streptococcus. The common symptoms are a burning sensation, redness and blisters.
"Just looking at it, you're not going to be able to differentiate if it's staph or strep," Weiss said Thursday.
Weiss said any community that has some kind of skin infection should assume it's an antibiotic-resistent strain until proven otherwise. Athletes should use footwear in the common areas, and always shower with anti-bacterial soap after workouts -- practices the Jets already have incorporated.
Greene, entering his third season, is one of the keys to the Jets' season. In the offseason, he was named the No. 1 running back, jumping future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson on the depth chart.
One of the big questions about Greene is his durability, particularly with his role expanding. He received 185 carries last season, backing up Tomlinson for the first half of the season, but the plan is to raise that total to at least 250 carries.
Greene ran effectively in the Jets' first preseason game, rushing for 32 yards on five carries -- one of the bright spots in a 20-16 loss to the Houston Texans.
Without Greene, Tomlinson will return to the starting lineup. With Joe McKnight likely out for the game with a concussion, the backup running back will be rookie Bilal Powell, a fourth-round pick from Louisville.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Plaxico Burress appeared to be a full participant at practice while working with the first-team offense. He had been hobbled by a sprained left ankle until Wednesday, when he caught his first pass of training camp in team drills. Burress appears to be on track to make his playing debut for the Jets on Sunday.
Linebacker Bart Scott (leg), nose tackle Sione Pouha (left knee) and Marcus Dixon (knee) all did not participate in team drills. Scott didn't seem concerned about the swelling and soreness in the leg.
"I've had a lot worse," he said. "If this was the regular season, it wouldn't matter. I'd throw some dirt on it."
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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