LaDainian Tomlinson likely out vs. Bills

Updated: November 25, 2011, 4:15 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson has been in the NFL for 11 seasons, but he experienced a first last Thursday.

Tomlinson's Jets were in Denver taking on the Broncos on Nov. 17. The 32-year-old veteran wasn't. Instead, for the first time in his career, he was watching his team play from home.

Tomlinson won't have to watch the Jets on television this Sunday, but he'll almost certainly have to watch them from the sidelines when they take on the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium.

Tomlinson, who has a sprained knee, did not practice again on Friday, and has now missed practice for 12 straight days. He's listed as questionable on the injury report, but he may as well be listed as out.

"If I were a betting man right now, if we had to play [Saturday], I don't think he plays," said coach Rex Ryan, who was highly considering listing Tomlinson as doubtful.

Tomlinson sounded upset and frustrated as he spoke with reporters after practice.

"I've been getting treatment and doing as much as I can, and I'm going to leave it up to the coaches," Tomlinson said. "I want to play, but it's up to the coaches."

Tomlinson stretched with his teammates on Friday, and then did agility drills on the side.

The veteran, who contributes mostly as a third-down back, said his intention is to try to return to practice on Monday. Last week, he vowed that he'd be able to play against the Bills, only to suffer two setbacks, the latest one coming early this week.

Tomlinson has rushed for 167 yards and caught 25 passes for 312 yards. He's also scored two touchdowns.

Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell will have to pick up the slack in Tomlinson's absence behind starter Shonn Greene.

During practices this week, Greene wore a carbon fiber rib protector to protect both sides of his torso, even though the injury he sustained in Denver was to the right side.

He said that the Jets will have to adjust to the possibility that.

"I don't think we're altering plays or anything because of that," Greene said. "We got guys can do, Joe's going to step up into LaDainian's role, or I've got to. It's going to take an effort from all of us."

Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (sprained knee) is also listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision, Ryan said.

Kerley also hasn't practiced in 12 days, and was doing agility drills on the side on Friday.

Powell returned to practice after missing time early in the week with an unspecified illness, and is listed as probable.

Left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (ankle) was the only addition to Friday's injury report, but is listed as probable. Ryan said he hurt himself during practice.

The Jets announced Friday that they signed tackle Austin Howard from the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad.

Howard played four games with Philadelphia in 2010 after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Northern Iowa.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. ESPNNewYork.com's Jane McManus contributed to this story.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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