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Jets RB Thomas continues to rest leg injury

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (Aug. 13, 2007) -- New York Jets running back Thomas Jones remained sidelined one day after injuring his lower right leg in practice.

Jones walked with a slight limp and spent most of the morning session working on a hand bike and doing calisthenics. Jones' leg had a smaller wrap -- from the top of the ankle to the top of the calf -- around it than the one he had on it after he was injured Aug. 12.

Per team policy, the Jets did not reveal the nature or severity of the injury, but it appears to be to the calf. Jones wasn't made available to the media the past two days.

"I can tell you that he is working extremely hard, and he'll be back as quickly as he can," coach Eric Mangini said. "Thomas has a pretty strong track record. He's been pretty durable."

Mangini would not say whether Jones would play in the team's next preseason game at home against Minnesota on Aug. 17.

"Really, I expect him as soon as he can go," Mangini said.

Jones hadn't been touched during running back-linebacker drills Auga. 12 when he went to plant his right foot in front of Brad Kassell and fell. He immediately took off his helmet and untied his shoe before he was examined by a trainer, who wrapped the leg. Jones then limped to the sideline and had a more substantial wrap applied.

Leon Washington worked with the first-team offense for the second successive day in Jones' absence.

Losing Jones, who rushed for 1,210 yards and six touchdowns while leading the Bears to the Super Bowl last season, for any significant amount of time would be blow. The Jets acquired him from Chicago in the offseason to give them a bona fide No. 1 running back after going with a four-man rotation last season.

"Thomas has to focus on himself and get back as quickly as possible," quarterback Chad Pennington said.

If Jones doesn't play, Washington will likely get the reps with the first team, while veteran Tony Hollings and undrafted rookies Danny Ware and Alvin Banks will split the rest of the carries.

"The other guys have opportunities now to make their case and show what they can do for our football team," Pennington said. "That's the beauty of football: It's a team game and we're all in this together. And when an injury happens, you have to make sure everybody else steps up and we're all accountable to each other and do what's necessary to keep on going."

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2007, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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