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Vilma misses Jets practice with knee injury

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- New York Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma
missed practice Wednesday with a knee injury and underwent tests to
determine how long it might keep him sidelined.

Coach Eric Mangini said Vilma was injured during the Jets' 38-31
loss at Cincinnati on Sunday, but didn't specify when it occurred
or to which knee.

''We're going to get some more tests done here today,'' Mangini
said. ''I'll update you on his status or you'll be updated on his
status through the injury report.''

Vilma wasn't available during the 45-minute window the media are
allowed in the locker room Monday or Wednesday. A message seeking
comment from Tony Fleming, one of Vilma's representatives, was not
immediately returned.

The Pro Bowl linebacker spent part of the second half of last
week's game on the bench and Mangini said Monday that Vilma, who
had only three tackles, was ''dramatically affected'' by an
unspecified injury. During his weekly spot Tuesday on a sports
radio station, Vilma said it was ''a coach's decision'' and wasn't
due to any injury.

''I don't know what time his radio show was,'' Mangini said
Wednesday. ''I talked to him [Tuesday] later in the afternoon,
explained the thought process there. Sometimes you're going to see
it differently as a player and as a coach. We'll just have to see
how these tests go.''

Mangini didn't dispute Vilma's claim that it was a coaching
decision based on how he was playing.

''I think the injury had an impact on his performance,'' Mangini
said.

Vilma has missed few snaps during his three-plus seasons and is
known for playing through pain the way Laveranues Coles and
Chad Pennington are, so it's noticeable whenever he's not on the field.

''Jon has a lot of Laveranues in him and you love that about
him, you really do,'' Mangini said. ''You respect that about him.
Like Curtis Martin, it doesn't matter what my status is in terms of
physically, I am going to play. That's toughness. I appreciate
that. Sometimes you have to look at it and say, 'Is it
counterproductive?'''

After establishing himself as one of the best playmaking
linebackers in the league during his first two seasons, Vilma has
struggled to be as effective in Mangini's 3-4 defensive scheme.
He's a disappointing fifth on the team with 39 tackles, including
26 solo.