Harris tests ankle in practice return

Updated: January 7, 2010, 3:49 PM ET
Associated Press

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets linebacker David Harris returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday after missing two days while recovering from a sprained right ankle.

Harris, the leading tackler on the league's top-ranked defense, said the injury was a result of what he thought was an illegal hit last Sunday against Cincinnati.

He was at his usual inside linebacker spot Thursday in early drills and wasn't noticeably hobbled. Harris said his ankle felt "kind of stiff," but hopes to play in the first-round playoff game at Cincinnati on Saturday.

"I've been out here all day getting treatment and doing rehab and everything I can to get back out there on the field," Harris said. "Hopefully, I'll be fine by Saturday."

The injury occurred on Dwight Lowery's interception with less than 30 seconds left in the first half of the Jets' 37-0 win. Harris was being blocked up high by tight end Daniel Coates when running back Brian Leonard hit him low.

"I thought it was an illegal hit," Harris said, adding that it was a chop block. "Obviously, they didn't throw the penalty on it, but it put me out."

Harris said the team sent film of the hit to the league for review.

"It puts you in an awkward and dangerous position when you get high-lowed like that," Harris said, "and I don't think it was a fair shot."

Coach Rex Ryan agreed it was a chop block, but said he didn't think the hit was intentional.

Harris, in his third season, worked on his footwork and agility while pushing off the ankle at times at practice. The final injury report will be released Friday.

"David wasn't a full-go by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it was an encouraging sign the fact he was able to get out there and do something," Ryan said. "So, we'll see how that goes."

Harris also responded to Bengals running back Cedric Benson's comments this week that he doesn't "even really know who that is."

"I'm only the leading tackler on the No. 1 defense," Harris said. "It's hard to not know who I am. ... If I play, I'm sure I'll introduce myself early to him."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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