LaDainian Tomlinson didn't practice Tuesday, and he reportedly won't play this week either.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan confirmed that Tomlinson sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during last weekend's loss to the New England Patriots. And while Ryan wouldn't officially rule out Tomlinson, the New York Daily News reported the running back will not play Thursday night against the Denver Broncos.
Tomlinson himself didn't sound optimistic.
"If the game was Sunday, I don't think I'd have a problem playing," he said. "Being that it is a short week, it adds a little more pressure and it is a little more difficult to do. If I don't play this game, I absolutely will play against Buffalo (on Nov. 27)."
Ryan said that if Tomlinson makes the trip to Denver, his status will be a game-time decision.
"I know this: He wants to play," Ryan said. "He's trying to do everything in his power to play. I know the kind of competitor L.T. is, if he thinks he can help the team, he's going to go. Obviously, you have to protect the player from himself as well."
Said Tomlinson: "I'm sure Rex has a couple of ideas of what he wants to see before we leave. ... Hopefully I can do everything I need to do to convince him one way or another."
The injury is to the same knee that hobbled Tomlinson in the playoffs following the 2007 regular season, but he said it's far less serious.
If he can't play, Tomlinson would be replaced in the backfield with rookie Bilal Powell, who has been inactive all season.
Ryan already ruled out safety Brodney Pool, who missed the game against the Patriots, because of a sprained left knee.
Wide receivers Jeremy Kerley (left knee) and Patrick Turner (kidney), and tight end Shawn Nelson (illness) didn't practice Tuesday, and their statuses also are uncertain.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.