QB could face Eagles in debut

Updated: October 13, 2003, 7:17 PM ET
Associated Press

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- New York Jets coach Herman Edwards said there is a "50-50" chance quarterback Chad Pennington will start against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 26.

Pennington, out since the preseason with a broken and dislocated left wrist, will begin doing team drills this week at practice wearing a red, noncontact jersey. Edwards said there is no chance Pennington will start Sunday against Houston, but he could be New York's No. 3 emergency quarterback.

Edwards said he will make that decision later this week, and also is trying to decide whether to make Pennington the backup before he starts a game. As of Monday, Pennington has not yet been cleared to play.

"It's different with practicing and having to play in the football game," Edwards said. "For me, I don't know if it's his hand, but it's more of his conditioning. Where is he at? Playing a game is different than seven-on-seven. As he goes on during the week, we'll see where he's at."

Pennington does not want to talk about his progress until his status changes.

When Pennington got hurt Aug. 23, the Jets said he would be sidelined 12 weeks, putting his return Nov. 23 against Jacksonville. If he starts against the Eagles, he would have missed nine weeks. The Jets are 1-4 without their starter.

Pennington began throwing last week for the first time since the injury and practiced seven-on-seven drills with the scout team on Thursday. He also worked on his footwork and conditioning for 45 minutes before the Jets' 30-3 win over Buffalo on Sunday.

In other injuries, starting safety Jon McGraw and backup cornerback Jamie Henderson are doubtful. McGraw injured his right shoulder against the Bills and had an MRI on Monday, while Henderson sprained his right knee. If McGraw cannot go, rookie Derek Pagel and Tyrone Carter would play in his place.

Linebacker Victor Hobson (ribs), cornerback Leonard Myers (right shoulder) and receiver Wayne Chrebet (migraine) should be able to play against the Texans.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press