A heaping helping of Monday Whispers

With fullbacks Jerald Sowell and B.J. Askew both nursing ankle injuries, the Jets might need to add a fullback to their active roster.

One possibility is Luke Lawton, who is currently on the practice squad. He is a McNeese State product who spent parts of last season on the Giants and Bills practice squads. He was released on the last cut by the Giants this summer, and immediately signed him to the Jets practice squad.

"He is a real tough kid can catch better than you'd think, but isn't much of an athlete," said one Giant observer. . .

Askew was walking around the locker room on Monday with a big ice bag on his right ankle and an electro-stimulation device . . .

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority voted Friday to give the Giants a 10-day extension, until September 29, to work out their differences over the design of the complex, and to form a "50-50 partnership" with the Jets to operate a new football stadium. The only problem with this arrangement is that the Jets have no interest in making a decision in this limited time frame . . .

It's unclear whether tailback Curtis Martin will be available to play this Sunday after suffering a knee injury in the first quarter of the Jets win over the Dolphins. He was seen walking around the Jets complex with a big wrap on his right knee. Considering his amazing pain threshold, people around the Jets complex are holding out hope for him to play this Sunday. But if he can't go, the Jets would start Derrick Blaylock, who did a good job last year filling in for an injured Priest Holmes in Kansas City. In his first career start, last season, he rushed for 186 yards against New Orleans. Rookie Cedric Houston will likely also be in the mix at tailback if Martin can't go . . .

The Jets announced the Sowell, Askew, Martin and Erik Coleman (dislocated finger) injuries on Monday. However, one injury that wasn't mentioned was a wrist injury to nickel back Derrick Strait. He was seen walking around the Jets locker room on Monday with a cast on his left wrist. It's not clear how serious this ailment is . . .

With the injury to Coleman, look for Oliver Celestin to start at free safety against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But with all the big wide receivers the Jaguars have (6-6 Matt Jones, 6-4 Ernest Wilford and 6-2 Jimmy Smith), look for 6-1 Rashad Washington to -see some action at safety as well. Washington and 6-3 starting strong safety Kerry Rhodes match-up very well with big wideouts because they are both tall, fast and physical . . .

Defensive end John Abraham won a game ball for his efforts against Miami. He played 56 plays against Dolphins. Not only did he impress the coaches with his pass rushing, but his improved play against the run. The extra ten pounds he put on this off-season, seems to be helping him hold up against the run . . .

The Jets coaches feel one reason quarterback Chad Pennington had accuracy problems against Miami was poor pass protection. On a number of plays, he couldn't step up and throw the ball because of pressure, and that messed up his footwork.

A big reason the Jets didn't run the ball very well against the Dolphins was their offensive lineman didn't do a great job finishing their blocks . . .

After their opening day debacle against Kansas City, Edwards told his coordinators to simplify their game plans. The Jets approach against Miami was a lot more simplistic than in the Kansas City game . . .

One reason linebacker Jonathan Vilma wore sunglasses in his post-game press conference following the Dolphins game was that his left eye is still red from his fight with James Reed . . .

Defensive ends John Abraham and Shaun Ellis could have a field day against a Jacksonville offensive line that struggled mightily in the Jaguars 10-3 loss to the Colts. Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich was sacked six times, and hit on many more occasions. The left side of the Jaguars line had a lot of problems in this game. They rotated Ephraim Salaam and Mike Pearson at left tackle, and neither player performed well.

"How much pounding can a guy take?'' said Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith.

It's unclear whether Leftwich will be able to play against the Jets. He suffered an undisclosed leg injury. If he can't go, the more mobile David Garrard will start . . .

Also in the Jaguars loss in to the Colts on Sunday, they lost strong safety Donovin Darius to a knee injury. It's unclear how long he will be out. But if he misses the Jets game, that could help New York's ability to run the football effectively. Darius, at 6-1, 225 pounds, is one of the better run support safeties in football. He's like having another linebacker . . .

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