But it's not a given. Hobson was listed as probable the last two weeks, and was inactive for both games. If Hobson returns, he won't start. On Monday, Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson said that when a starter misses time, he likes to ease him back into the lineup. It could take up to three weeks for Hobson to get his starting job back. Mark Brown has done a solid job filling in for Hobson. Brown is a better pass defender than Hobson, while Hobson is a little better against the run . . .
The Jets enter their game with New England as a much healthier team than the Patriots. The Jets have just four players on their injury report – Hobson, defensive end John Abraham (knee-out), guard Pete Kendall (knee-probable) and defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson (illness-probable). The Patriots had 12 players on their report. The Patriots secondary is particularly banged up. Starting cornerback Tyrone Poole is out for year, and the other starter Ty Law is still rehabbing a broken foot. The team's third cornerback, Asante Samuel, is also hurting. He is nursing a shoulder injury. He's playing with it, but isn't 100 percent. The team's fourth cornerback, rookie Randall Gay, is battling an arm injury. With their top four cornerbacks banged up, expect Chad Pennington to have a big game against the Patriots on Sunday, just like the last two quarterbacks, the Cincinnati's Carson Palmer/Jon Kitna and then Miami's A.J. Feeley. Expect the Jets to target wide receiver Troy Brown who is playing nickel back in the Patriots banged up secondary.
"It could be 80 (Brown) against 80 (Chrebet) – wouldn't that be weird," said Pennington.
Expect a big game from Shaun Ellis against New England's backup right tackle Brandon Gorin. The Patriots regular starter at right tackle, Tom Ashworth, is out for the season with a back injury. Expect Ellis to dominate Gorin, just like he did the Seahawks backup right tackle Pork Chop Womack last week.
Pennington made up with reporters on Wednesday, following his contentious Monday press conference.
"Let's have a group hug," Pennington joked to reporters. "If will not happen again. I'm not that kind of guy."
Pennington held the press conference on Monday after the media uproar following the Jets-Seahawks game when he didn't answer questions. The Monday session turned into a debate about media ethics that turned nasty at times. In retrospect, Pennington now realizes the conversation should have been off the record.
"It was a discussion that should have been off camera," said Pennington . . .
When John Abraham was asked by a reporter how he felt about making the Pro Bowl, he turned to an article in his locker by New York Post writer Jay Greenberg, and said, "He can kiss my [butt]." Greenberg named Abraham the most overrated player in New York sports earlier in the year . . .
Abraham did some light jogging today to test his injured right knee. He is targeting the post-season (if the Jets make it) for a potential return.
"I think I'm pointing to the playoffs," said Abraham.
When Abraham returns, he will likely be used as a situational pass rusher with Bryan Thomas continuing to start.
Curtis Martin bought Louis Vuitton luggage for every member of his offensive line for Christmas. Pennington got them all custom made suits . . .
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