If both Cowart and Glenn are out, expect a bigger role for second-year linebacker Mark Brown. He is an undrafted free agent out of Auburn.
Another reserve linebacker who could see a some time is rookie Darrell McClover. He has been mainly a special teams player this year, but could be used in coverage or blitzing situation. McClover has tremendous speed, and might have been the fastest linebacker in the 2004 draft, running in the 4.4 area.
But another solution to the linebacker shortage is to play more of the 3-4 look where defensive end John Abraham is essentially an outside linebacker.
Abraham had a tremendous game in the first Jets-Dolphins matchup. He proved to be a major mismatch for Dolphins left tackle Damion McIntosh. Abraham finished that game with two sacks, numerous pressures, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Expect a similar performance this time around. Whether it's McIntosh or Dolphins right tackle John St. Clair, neither is known for their ability to handle speed rushers. Abraham will likely dominate both of them, depending on what side he lines up. Abraham could give them even more trouble than the first matchup with a loud home crowd helping his cause.
Abraham's performance this week could decide the game. If he can constantly harrass Dolphins quarterback Jay Fielder into bad decisions, like he did in the first matchup, this could help the Jets win this game. If Fiedler has a lot of time to throw, he could do a lot of damage against a Jets secondary that is playing very inconsistent football. The Dolphins have plenty of weapons in the passing game with wideouts Chris Chambers and Marty Booker, along with tight end Randy McMicheal, who is having a breakout season.
The Jets running game gets a break this week with the back injury to defensive tackle Tim Bowens. He tried to come back the last two games from this injury, but had a set back, and is now likely done for the year. With Bowens out, it's a lot easier for opponents to run up the middle on the Dolphins. Bowens missed the first Jets-Dolphins matchup, and Curtis Martin ran for 110 yards.
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