Jets LB Scott's 119-game streak in jeopardy
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP)
Bart Scott has pushed himself for weeks, trying to tough out a painful toe injury.
This week, though, the New York Jets' linebacker might have to sit this one out.
Scott's streak of playing in 119 straight games could end Sunday because of a hyperextended big toe that has ailed him since the third game of the season. He missed his second day of practice Thursday after he played just nine defensive snaps against the New England Patriots last Sunday.
''I've always prided myself on being able to have a high tolerance to play through things,'' Scott said. ''I just want to show my teammates that I'm willing to bite down and continue to play and do what I can to help us win. If we have to shut it down, we shut it down. If not, then we'll be ready to go.''
Scott injured the big toe on his right foot on the second defensive play against Miami on Sept. 23, and described it as ''turf toe, ligament damage, capsule strains and things like that.'' Coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine both said that it's an injury that normally sidelines a player for three or four weeks.
Instead, Scott has tried to stay on the field by wearing a stiff cleat that is a size 13 1/2 instead of his usual 12. The top of the shoe was cut off and a carbon fiber top installed to help protect the toe, along with foam.
''It's tough. It's like losing a thumb on your hand,'' Scott said. ''Everything you do comes off your big toe.''
It has affected his ability to run in space, which hasn't been as much of an issue against recent opponents that run the ball a lot. He was replaced mostly last week by rookie Demario Davis, a speedy linebacker who could be in line to eventually replace Scott as the starter.
Scott's impressive run dates to 2004 with the Baltimore Ravens, and ranks as the fifth-longest streak among active NFL linebackers.
''Bart has been a warrior for us for a long time,'' Pettine said.
The Jets will continue to evaluate Scott to see if he might be able to play against Miami. The injury hasn't necessarily gotten worse, Scott said, but it also hasn't gotten much better. With a bye-week break coming up after Sunday, an extended rest now might help Scott for later in the season.
''I don't care about a streak,'' Scott said. ''I care about helping my team win and trying to win a championship. That's always been my primary goal, and that's why I came here. If helping the team best is for me to be on the sideline and help these young linebackers see what's going on and help slow the game down for them, then I'll do that.''
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