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Blaylock Close to Returning

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
December 15th, 2005
The Jets are anxious to see RB Derrick Blaylock get some playing time. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The Jets are anxious to see RB Derrick Blaylock get some playing time. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
After spending four years as a backup to RB Priest Holmes in Kansas City, RB Derrick Blaylock signed with the Jets. While RB LaMont Jordan (who signed as a free agent with Oakland) often griped about not getting enough carries, Blaylock appeared fine with being a backup. With the Chiefs, Blaylock played a big role on special teams as well blocking for Dante Hall.

But in a 14-12 win over Tampa Bay on Oct. 9, Blaylock broke his foot and it was originally thought he would miss the entire season. The prognosis was changed to 6-8 weeks.

With Blaylock out, RB Curtis Martin continued to handle most of the carries despite battling knee problems. Finally, the problems caught up with Martin and yesterday he had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

With Martin on the sidelines, rookie RB Cedric Houston and FB B.J. Askew have an opportunity to share most of the workload. But with Blaylock practicing today for the second straight day, he is close to coming back and would like to get back on the field. This season, Blaylock (10 carries, 19 yards) talked about what he could do now that he couldn’t do last week.

“Now, I’m able to cut,” Blaylock said. “That was the big thing, when I was going to have my cutting ability back. I could run straight ahead pretty good, but now I feel I can go full-speed ahead. My cutting is still, I’d say 85 percent.”

Blaylock is happy to be back on the field practicing with his teammates.“It means a lot just getting on the field, feeling that game tempo and being out there with the guys and going through all that with them,” Blaylock said. “That’s why it will be real good when I make it back.”

Blaylock hasn’t discussed playing this week with head coach Herman Edwards and said Edwards would probably like to see Blaylock at 100 percent. Blaylock figures it will be a game-time decision whether he dresses against Miami. He won’t lobby to the coaches to play. “I let what I do on the field (talk). I tell my position coaches that,” Blaylock said.

There isn’t animosity between Blaylock and Houston. “I’m happy for him. Any time you can have a young guy like that come in when your starter and back-up are out, it’s good," Blaylock said.

Blaylock doesn’t feel he needs to show the Jets anything. “They’ve seen what I can do. The couple games that I’ve played. It’s not about proving myself to them, because they already know. It’s just the fact of getting back out there and basically for self-confidence. To know, ‘Ok, I’m back and feeling good.’ Just to go into the off-season feeling good.”

INSIDER TIDBITS

MARTIN VOWS RETURN

After having successful surgery on his right knee yesterday, RB Curtis Martin spoke to the media today. Martin said he had bone chips removed and bone bruises in two areas but did not have any ligament damage.

“This is something that’s easy to recover from; it’s just hard to deal with while you have it,” Martin said. “I feel good and like I said, I started my rehab today. I couldn’t straighten my leg out or really bend my leg because of the pieces that were jammed in there and after a period of time, that stuff takes it’s toll.” Martin said he wants to be running by February.

The 32-year old Martin talked about his future with the Jets. “I see myself being back here,” Martin said. Head Coach Herman Edwards also insisted Martin would return."By no stretch of the imagination is Curtis Martin out of our plans," Edwards said. "He needs to be a Jet as long as he wants to be a Jet, and I think he will be."

Martin was asked why he feels an allegiance to the Jets. “Because this organization is a good organization from top to bottom. I have a lot of respect for everyone involved fromWoody (Johnson) to Herm (Edwards) to Terry (Bradway) to Mike (Tannenbaum), for all of those and coaching staff. I like it here. It’s my type of place. I wouldn’t want to play for anyone else.”

There is no doubt Martin will work hard to get back. “I’m going to have my best off-season this year. I feel like I’m going to have my best off-season this year. For sure.”

-ROSTER MOVES

The Jets placed QB Jay Fielder on injured reserve today. The team also signed RB Terry Butler and DT Matt McChesney to the active roster and placed FB Luke Lawton on the practice squad. Butler (6’1, 200 pounds) signed with the Jets on July 30 and played in all four Jets preseason games before being released on Sept. 3. Butler had two previous stints on the Jets practice squad this season. McChesney (6’4, 290 pounds), signed to the Jets practice squad as a rookie free agent on Nov. 3. Lawton has played in four games with the Jets this season, mainly on special teams.

INJURY REPORT

WR Harry Williams (knee) did not practice for a second straight day and remains out. RB Derrick Blaylock (ankle) practiced for a second straight day and is questionable. LB Mark Brown (neck) was added to the practice report today after not practicing and is questionable. DE Shaun Ellis (hamstring), DE Dewayne Robertson (thigh), and T Scott Gragg (lower back) all did not practice again today and remain questionable. CB Ty Law (illness) returned to practice today and is probable. DE Bryan Thomas (biceps) practiced yesterday and today and remains probable.

Out
-WR Harry Williams Jr. (knee)
-RB Curtis Martin (knee)

Questionable
-RB Derrick Blaylock (ankle)
-DE Shaun Ellis (hamstring)
-DT Dewayne Robertson (thigh)
-T Scott Gragg (back)
-LB Mark Brown (neck)

Probable
-DT Bryan Thomas (bicep)
-CB Ty Law (illness)

The Jets return to practice tomorrow. Check back to Jets Insider.com for a preview of the Jets-Dolphins game as well as all the latest Jets news.

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