Jets injury report analysis

The Jets are dealing with two injuries on the offensive line.<p>

Jets center Kevin Mawae (probable-hand) practiced on Thursday, and there is a good chance he will start against the Dolphins. Mawae has a cracked bone in his right hand, but it's not totally broken. The big question is whether the injury will impact his snapping ability. If that is a problem, Mawae could move over to left guard, and Pete Kendall could move into center. Kendall, who started at center for the Arizona Cardinals last year, practiced at center on Monday and Wednesday this week. He actually prefers playing center over guard. If Mawae can't play at all, another option is starting backup Jonathan Goodwin, who took some reps with the first team at center this week. After Mawae suffered the injury in the Jets-Charger game, Goodwin started most of the second half at center and played well. The Jets are calling Mawae's status a game-time decision, but expect him to start, either at center or guard.

Jets left tackle Jason Fabini (back-probable) didn't practice on Wednesday and Thursday. While there is a good chance he will start, keep in mind that when the Jets list players as "probable" that actually means they are 50-50 according to Jets coach Herman Edwards.

"To me [50-50] is probable," Edwards admitted this week.

If Fabini can't go, the Jets would either start raw rookie Adrian Jones or veteran Brent Smith. But keep in mind, even though he isn't listed on the injury report, Smith is still recovering from a tricep injury suffered in training camp. The arm is still wrapped during practice. But no matter who starts, Fabini, Jones or Smith, all three would likely struggle against Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor. Fabini has a terrible history dealing with Taylor, perhaps his worst matchup in the league. And a bad back isn't going to help his cause.

The only only other player listed on the Jets injury report is linebacker Sam Cowart (knee-out). This MCL injury didn't require surgery, but will likely keep Cowart out another month. Rookie Jonathan Vilma will start for Cowart. The Jets selected Vilma in the first round to eventually replace Cowart, but didn't expect him to start this fast. However, the cerebral Vilma, who is known for his extensive film study, should be up to the challenge. He is wise beyond his years.

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