Shonn Greene expects to play

Updated: August 23, 2011, 8:07 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets running back Shonn Greene, claiming the severity of the skin infection on his right foot was blown out of proportion by the media, insisted Tuesday that he's fine and expects to play Saturday night against the Giants.

Greene, who missed a few days of practice and Sunday night's win over the Cincinnati Bengals, participated in the morning walk-through and practiced in the afternoon. He confirmed that his foot was swollen, but his description of the injury differed slightly from what the team had indicated last week.

Greene said he was "having some pain" and discovered a soft corn between his toes. The corn was removed, he said, and that area became infected. A team spokesman said a callus was removed, at which time a skin infection was detected in another area of the foot.

"It was nothing with the skin," said Greene, adding that he never was worried about the possibility of a staph infection. "It was between the toes. There were stories flying here and there. It was nothing as bad as everybody make it seem. ... It was just a media thing that everybody got hyped up about."

The bottom line is, the Jets have their primary ballcarrier back on the field. Coach Rex Ryan said Greene will be monitored during practice, but he expects the third-year back to face the Giants.

The Jets could use a jolt to their vaunted rushing attack, which was sputtering against the Bengals until fifth-string tailback Chris Jennings broke loose for a 69-yard run in garbage time. LaDainian Tomlinson, who started for Greene, managed only 16 yards on nine carries.

"I'd like to be able to run the ball a little better," Ryan said.

Greene watched the game from his home in New Jersey, itching to be out on the field, even if it was just preseason.

"It was kind of boring because I wasn't there and I felt like I was supposed to be there," he said. "It was kind of weird."

Everybody was buzzing about the Jets' passing attack, energized by the debut of wide receiver Plaxico Burress, but Ryan said he's hoping to maintain the team's smash-mouth personality on offense.

"Our mentality is never going to change," he said. "We want to be a physical football team. The Ground and Pound is something I'd like to do."

Aside from quarterback Mark Sanchez, Greene could be the key to the Jets' offense. After serving as a backup to Thomas Jones and Tomlinson for most of the past two seasons, Greene was elevated to the starting role in the offseason. He's expected to carry at least 250 times, a major increase in workload.

Behind Greene and Tomlinson, they have Joe McKnight and rookie Bilal Powell. McKnight (seven carries for 36 yards) is coming off a solid game, which included a 4-yard touchdown reception. He's No. 3 on the depth chart, but Powell is "on his heels," running backs coach Anthony Lynn said.

Meanwhile, Ryan said backup quarterback Mark Brunell (strained right calf) and guard Trevor Canfield (left knee) would be sidelined for practice. Brunell missed the game after being injured in practice Friday, but Ryan thinks he'll be fine by the start of the regular season.

Tight end Jeff Cumberland (left knee/hamstring) didn't practice, while nose tackle Sione Pouha (left knee) and linebacker Nick Bellore (right calf) took part only in individual and position drills. Mason (left knee), linebacker Bart Scott (left leg), defensive end Marcus Dixon (left knee), linebacker Calvin Pace (left groin) and right guard Brandon Moore, who hasn't played this preseason while recovering from offseason hip surgery, all participated in most team drills.

Offensive lineman Rob Turner, who broke his right leg in the preseason opener at Houston, will be out "several weeks," according to Ryan, but won't be put on injured reserve yet.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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