Jets' Gholston doubtful vs. Jags, but Smith, Sheppard likely back

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets linebacker Vernon Gholston was listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars because of a strained hamstring.

Wide receiver Brad Smith and cornerback Lito Sheppard are both expected to play for the Jets after missing a few weeks with quadriceps injuries.

Gholston, the Jets' first-round draft pick last year, didn't practice all week after tweaking his hamstring Monday in the team's first workouts following the bye-week break.

"He did not participate, so that's going to be very doubtful that he plays," Jets coach Rex Ryan said Friday.

Despite showing some improvement since his disappointing rookie season, Gholston is still looking for his first NFL sack. Gholston said he was feeling "a lot better" Friday, but the team was being cautious so it didn't turn into a more serious injury.

Smith hasn't played in the Jets' last three games after being injured Oct 12 at Miami. He was limited Friday but listed as probable. If Smith plays, it will mark the first time that quarterback Mark Sanchez has him, Jerricho Cotchery and David Clowney all healthy and available this season.

Sheppard has missed five of the last six games with his injury. Ryan said Sheppard won't start but will play in a rotation with Dwight Lowery.

"Even though he's practiced fully, I don't think Lito's all the way back yet," Ryan said. "We'll evaluate to see how much he'll play. I think we'll start Dwight Lowery."

Defensive end Shaun Ellis (knee), cornerback Donald Strickland (ankle), right tackle Damien Woody (back) and wide receiver Wallace Wright (knee) all are probable.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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