As of noon Friday, [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rex+Ryan"]Rex Ryan[/URL] had yet to see starting tailback [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Shonn+Greene"]Shonn Greene[/URL] at the team's facility. Held out of practice due to a low-grade skin infection on his right foot, Greene was told by trainers to elevate his leg to reduce swelling and maintain treatment by antibiotics. He spent yesterday in the training room. On the field, meanwhile, the rotation at running back went on without him in practice.
"We're blessed," Ryan said. "We're about as deep as it gets at running back."
Greene, the embodiment of Ryan's ground-and-pound approach, will sit out Sunday night's preseason game against the Bengals at [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+Meadowlands+Stadium"]New Meadowlands Stadium[/URL]. In his place, third-down tailback [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/LaDainian+Tomlinson"]LaDainian Tomlinson[/URL], last year's starter, and rookie [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Bilal+Powell"]Bilal Powell[/URL], from [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Louisville+%28Maryland%29"]Louisville,[/URL] are expected to take a majority of the carries. Mixed in with them will be second-year back [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Joe+McKnight"]Joe McKnight[/URL], who suffered a head injury in Monday night's loss to the [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Houston+Texans"]Texans[/URL], but returned to full contact Friday.
"Nobody seems too concerned with it," Ryan said of Greene's condition.
Tomlinson, carrying a lighter load than last season when he rushed for 914 yards, touched the ball once against [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Houston+%28Texas%29"]Houston[/URL], but will handle the ball a lot more against [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Cincinnati+Bengals"]Cincinnati[/URL].
"In a different role you really don't worry about the increased workload or X amount of carries," said Tomlinson, who added he was uncertain how many carries Ryan planned to give him Sunday night.
Ryan reiterated that he believes Tomlinson can still take the pounding physically, insisting that his age (32) and odometer (13,404 career rushing yards) did not preclude him from being used extensively.
"If anything happened to Shonn on a permanent basis, then L.T. would go in there," Ryan said.
Greene, who had 32 yards on five carries against the Texans, alerted the training staff to the infection while having a callous shaved during the week. He experienced pain and swelling following a practice and walkthrough on Thursday, and did not appear at practice that afternoon.
There was no fluid on the foot, according to a [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+Jets"]Jets[/URL] spokesman.
"We think he'll be fine next week," Ryan said.
With the offensive line currently recovering from injuries to [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Nick+Mangold"]Nick Mangold[/URL] (neck), [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brandon+Moore"]Brandon Moore[/URL] (hip) and [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rob+Turner"]Rob Turner[/URL] (leg), running backs coach [URL="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Anthony+Lynn"]Anthony Lynn[/URL] emphasized his players' ability to capitalize on holes created ahead of them. Tomlinson maintained that the offense has the potential to rank among the league's best.
"We can be the top offense in the league, honestly," Tomlinson said.
"But with that said, we still have a long way to go."
Although there is depth in the backfield, there is much room for development. McKnight, now in his second camp, underachieved last season, but has displayed improvement thus far. Powell, a slow starter in the opening days, has proven capable of taking runs around the edges and fighting for yards inside.
Ryan recognized "Shonn Greene style" in one of Powell's recent runs into the secondary.
For now, with Greene sidelined, Tomlinson will be tabbed the starter and take extra carries. The extra toll, he says, is no burden.
"Third down and spelling Shonn is what I expect to do this year," Tomlinson said.
Read more: [URL]http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/2011/08/20/2011-08-20_greene_out_lt_rushes_in.html#ixzz1VZYrrX1j[/URL]
[QUOTE=RIJetFan;4110486]I was hoping we'd get to see Bilal a little bit more.[/QUOTE]
"Bilal, his role is definitely going to increase," running backs coach Anthony Lynn told me yesterday. "He's going to play a lot."
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Bilal Powell has been under the radar for most of training camp, serving as the understudy in a Jets backfield that's already loaded.
That all changes a bit come Sunday.
Shonn Greene , the guy expected to spearhead the Jets' rushing attack in 2011, has been ruled out of their preseason matchup with the Bengals because of a skin infection. The Jets said Greene was having a callous on his foot shaved when he pointed to a separate area on his foot that was giving him trouble.
The team said Greene has been responding well to treatment and antibiotics and expects the third-year running back in the mix next week.
So with Greene sidelined, veteran LaDainian Tomlinson probably not playing more than one quarter and Joe McKnight coming off a concussion, there's a good chance Jets fans will be hearing Powell's name called often over the New Meadowlands Stadium public-address system Sunday.
"Bilal, his role is definitely going to increase," running backs coach Anthony Lynn said Friday. "He's going to play a lot."
Drafted in the fourth round out of Louisville in April, Powell displayed some of his skills in the Jets' preseason opener on Monday, gaining 52 yards on 12 touches. He ran nine times for 25 yards and was targeted as a receiver on five occasions, grabbing three passes for 27 yards.
"I thought he executed," Lynn said. "He didn't make a lot of mistakes, he ran hard, he blocked well. There were some little detail things technique wise that we can clean up and do a little better, but he was good enough in that first preseason game to win with and I was happy to see that."
Powell, who declined an interview request Friday and hasn't spoken much during training camp, is considered a combo-type back. At 5-10, 204 pounds, he has the size to run with power and also has the speed to break off a long run.
He also has become more adept at catching the ball out of the backfield and quickly has picked up the scheme -- two qualities that have left an impression early in camp.
"Bilal has shown great flashes," Tomlinson said. "As any young player, it's about learning the offense so he can play fast and show what he can do. But in the things that he has been able to pick up and learn, we've seen flashes that Bilal can be a very good player in this league."
And Powell's shot could come sooner than he thinks.
"I do see him contributing on special teams and playing and helping us in the backfield at some point this season, no different than when Shonn came in," Lynn said. "His opportunity came. Bilal has to be ready and prepared for the same opportunity."
Notes & quotes: WR Derrick Mason (knee) and QB Mark Brunell (calf) came up gimpy in practice Friday and are questionable for Sunday . . . WR Plaxico Burress (ankle) should be a full go . . . C Nick Mangold (stinger) is expected to play . . . RG Brandon Moore (hip), DT Marcus Dixon (knee swelling), NT Sione Pouha (knee), and LB Bart Scott (lower leg) are out . . . Josh Mauga will start in Scott's place, Vladimir Ducasse starts at right guard for Moore, and Martin Tevaseu will start at nose tackle for Pouha.