Jets LB Bart Scott battling toe injury

Updated: October 25, 2012, 7:24 PM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After missing his second straight practice, Bart Scott seemed resigned to the idea that he might not play Sunday because of a turf toe that has hampered him ever since the last Miami Dolphins game in Week 3.

"If we have to shut it down, we shut it down," Scott said.

Ryan Normally I'd like to keep Bart out there, but if he can't change direction in space like he normally can, then we've got to do what we think's best for the football team. But if Bart's healthy, Bart'll be out there."

-- Rex Ryan on Bart Scott

After watching Scott play just nine snaps in a loss to the New England Patriots last weekend, coach Rex Ryan said it was possible that Scott could miss the Dolphins game on Sunday, ending a 119-game playing streak that started in 2004.

"That injury is a tough one," Ryan said. "The toe injury -- that could have kept him out the last three weeks, it really could've. But he's that kind of guy, he's going to push all the way. And sometimes we got to look at it, too. Maybe if it's up to Bart you know he's going to play, maybe we need to look at it and say, 'You know, with Bart we'll see how it goes, how it progresses.'"

In 11 years in the NFL, Scott has been an iron man, playing 119 straight games with the Baltimore Ravens and now the Jets. It's the fifth-longest streak among active linebackers in a league where the next play has the potential to be season-ending.

"I pride myself on showing up to work and putting a day in every day," Scott said. "And not only the work that you put in in a game, but also in practice. I pride myself in not ever missing a practice."

The Jets have gone to great lengths to keep Scott in the game. In Week 4 against San Francisco, Scott wore a cleat on his right foot that was a size and a half too big. The top was cut off, a carbon fiber plate installed and layers of foam cushioning added to the top for comfort.

"Pain is really not an issue with me. I can deal with it," Scott said.

"Normally I'd like to keep Bart out there, but if he can't change direction in space like he normally can, then we've got to do what we think's best for the football team," Ryan said. "But if Bart's healthy, Bart'll be out there."

Scott said he has only missed one game in his career and it was relatively early. If he isn't able to go, Scott said it will be tough to see the streak end, but that he doesn't play for the record books.

"It's disappointing but I don't play this game for records," Scott said. "I play for one reason, I like to say I made enough money, so I only play for a Super Bowl and the opportunity to play in a Super Bowl."

Scott struggled in 2011, when his playing time was reduced and he seemed a shell of his former brash-talking self. Coming into 2012, Scott lost weight, got faster and was determined to be a key player again.

"I think I can be the best I've ever been," he said in early September.

He was living up to that until the toe injury happened.

"Bart was having a tremendous year," Ryan said. "(He) was probably playing as good as anytime since he's been here. We've got to get him back, obviously you want to get him back as healthy as he possibly can be. Is he going to be 100 percent this week? No."

Scott has lobbied to play, and he did it in part because the Jets have had many injuries -- cornerback Darrelle Revis and wide receiver Santonio Holmes are out for the season. Those who are injured, Scott said, have to do what's best for the team and worry about healing later.

"Whenever you have (a) time of adversity, that's when you let your character show," Scott said. "I look at some of the other young guys and I like to think maybe them knowing what I was dealing with and seeing me walk around here and looking at my toe after games, maybe it'll inspire some of these guys who are dinged up to fight through.

"That was my whole point, to let them know we're in this thing together and if it's best for the team to play, you fight through it and deal with the pain. Pain is temporary."

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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