Harris resting sprained right ankle

Updated: January 6, 2010, 5:20 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jets coach Rex Ryan is optimistic linebacker David Harris will play in the team's playoff game at Cincinnati despite Harris missing a second straight day of practice Wednesday with a sprained right ankle.

"I think he'll go just because of the guy he is," Ryan said. "I know he's jogging on it, so hopefully he'll be able to practice maybe, but more importantly, play."

Harris, the Jets' leading tackler, wasn't on the field for practice or on the stationary bikes Wednesday while the team worked outdoors in frigid conditions.

However, the Star-Ledger of Newark, citing two people with knowledge of Harris' injury, reported Harris only has a "mild" sprain and will play. According to the New York Daily News, Harris has been telling teammates he should be ready to play.

Harris, one of the leaders of the NFL's top-ranked defense, injured the ankle during the first half of the regular-season finale against Cincinnati on Sunday. He watched from the sideline in the second half.

His backup, Ryan Fowler, was limited in practice after taking a blow to the head in the 37-0 win over the Bengals. If either Harris or Fowler can't go, Kenwin Cummings would make his NFL debut in their place.

Running back Thomas Jones, who set a career high with 1,402 yards rushing, was a full participant in practice despite being listed on the injury report with a knee ailment.

"He's going to play, you know that," Ryan said. "He just had a little swelling in the knee."

Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (hip), defensive end Shaun Ellis (knee) and cornerback Donald Strickland (quadriceps) were limited.

Punter Steve Weatherford was back at practice after resting his sore right hamstring Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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