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LaDainian Tomlinson out Thursday?

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson did not sound optimistic about playing on Thursday night in Denver against the Broncos.

Tomlinson, who has a sprained MCL in his left knee, had a setback Tuesday, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The running back denied Schefter's report after not participating in practice. He seemed to be favoring his knee, however, during footwork drills on the side.

"I would tell you that if the game was Sunday, I don't think I'd have a problem playing," Tomlinson said Tuesday. "But it's a short week, and it is a little more pressure and a little more difficult to do. But if I don't play this game, I absolutely will play against Buffalo (next game)."

Tomlinson suffered the injury on his final carry during the Jets' 37-16 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night. He underwent an MRI on Monday, which revealed the MCL sprain.

"I'm just taking it day by day," Tomlinson said.

Coach Rex Ryan did not rule Tomlinson out of the Broncos game, saying he could be a game-time decision if he travels.

"I hate to say that," Ryan said. "He wants to play, and he's trying to do everything in his power to play. Him being on a short week for a running back, is it good? Probably not. But I never want to hold it against him, because I know the kind of competitor LT is, and if he thinks he can help the team, then he's going to go."

The 32-year-old veteran was hurt against the Patriots after being hit by wide receiver Julian Edelman, who was forced to play nickel back because New England's secondary was so depleted by injuries.

After the game, Tomlinson left the locker room under his own power, but he was walking with a noticeable limp.

He also suffered a sprained MCL in 2008, and as a result left after just two plays in the 2008 AFC Championship Game. Tomlinson said his current injury isn't as serious, however.

If Tomlinson, who has 479 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns for the Jets this season in a reserve role, is unable to play, the Jets likely would increase Joe McKnight's workload and potentially could activate rookie Bilal Powell, who hasn't dressed for a game yet this season.

Powell told reporters Tuesday that he has been getting more reps in practice with the first team, and is "excited" for the opportunity, should it occur.

Safety Brodney Pool (knee) is out for the Broncos game, Ryan said. He had to get a cortisone shot in his knee to stop the swelling in it. He did not play against New England.

Wide receivers Jeremy Kerley (knee) and Patrick Turner (kidney) did not practice.

Kerley, the team's slot receiver, said he's still feeling "hurt," and Ryan said he'd be a game-time decision if he makes the trip with the team to Denver.

If Kerley and Turner cannot play, Ryan said 24-year-old rookie Eron Riley would dress.

Kerley said he suffered the injury when his knee got twisted up during a punt return.

All-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis (knee) was limited at practice, but Ryan said he's playing.

"I'm not even going to make the trip if Darrelle isn't going," Ryan said.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.