They are starting two rookies in the secondary, cornerback – Dunta Robinson and strong safety Glenn Earl. Also Marcus Coleman, is still getting comfortable at free safety. He was moved to that position last off-season after playing cornerback his first nine years in the NFL. Not helping Coleman this week is that he was held out of practice with a shoulder injury. He needs all the reps he can, so not practicing this week will likely hurt his preparation for this Sunday. He is still getting comfortable calling the defensive signals. So you can see why they have had so many breakdowns this year. When you start two rookies, and try to get a third player acclimated to a new position, all in the same secondary, that spells trouble.
"We have two rookies who start, and you might as well say that Marcus (Coleman) is a rookie because he's in a new position at free safety," said Texans cornerback Aaron Glenn. "I mean there are going to be problems early on."
Not helping the Texans secondary is the team's lack of a consistent pass rush . . .
The Jets expect Pennington (questionable-shoulder) to return this week after missing three games with a strained rotator cuff. "I am questionable which means 50/50 obviously and it is going to be a game time decision," said Pennington. "With an injury like this, you can't predict it. Just because of how you feel one day, doesn't mean you are going to feel great the next day."
But barring any major setback, the Jets will have Pennington back in the lineup on Sunday. The Jets offense has suffered significantly in his absence, scoring just 10 and 13 points in games against a pair of mediocre defenses, Cleveland and Arizona, respectively, the last two weeks . ..
The Texans tight ends have not had a good season in the passing game, and there is a clear reason why. The offense line has not pass protected very well, allowing about three sacks a game. So the Texans have had to keep their tight ends on the line to help block. The team is starting an inexperienced left tackle in Seth Wand, a first- year starter. Wand could be in for a nightmare this week facing Jets defensive ends John Abraham and Shaun Ellis. So expect the Texans, once again, to give Wand a lot of tight end help.
Since the Texans haven't been able to get tight ends, like Billy Miller, more involved in the passing game, defenses have been able to double-team the team's star receiver Andre Johnson, who has been relatively quiet the last month. Expect the Jets to double team Johnson as well. Johnson admitted recently he is not dealing with double teams very well.
LB Victor Hobson (questionable-ankle) hasn't practiced this week, and will likely miss his second straight game. He has a high ankle sprain, so it could take at least a month to heal. Second-year linebacker Mark Brown will fill in once again. Last week Brown did a solid job against the Cardinals. There was no dropoff from Hobson to Brown. In fact, Brown might be a little better in space than Hobson.
LB Jason Glenn (arm-probable) has practiced all week and should return to the lineup. He has missed the last month with a broken arm. His return should help the Jets kick and punt coverage teams which has struggled with him out of the lineup.
S Jon McGraw (groin-probable) should return this week, but it's not a given. He has been listed a probable before with this ailment, and didn't play. He will need surgery eventually. If McGraw plays, he will play in passing situations. The 6-3 McGraw could help the Jets deal with the 6-3 Johnson.
WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring-questionable) hasn't practiced this week, and won't likely play. His role as the team's fourth wide receiver will be filled by speedster Jonathan Carter. The two had been platooning at the spot anyway . . .
It looks like all the leg injuries Sam Cowart has suffered in his football life are starting to take their toll. Cowart said the last couple of games he lacked his old burst due to a knee injury suffered early in the season. Well after blowing his knee at Florida State, suffering a severe high ankle sprain and torn Achilles tendon while with Buffalo, and now hurting his knee with the Jets, Cowart's wheels clearly aren't what they used to be. The knee Cowart hurt this season, is the same one he had surgery on in college . . .
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