It’s a no go for Plaxico Burress in the New York Jets’ preseason opener.
An MRI on Friday revealed that the wide receiver has a sprained left ankle, and he won’t play against the Houston Texans on Monday or even fly with the team to Houston.
Most offshore sports books monitored by the SportsOptions odds product opened Houston as a 2 1/2-point home favorite, with the total set at 34 1/2 points.
The Jets have announced their starters will play the first quarter, while the Texans have said their starters will be in action for 10 to 12 plays.
“They think the altitude when you fly there, that that can increase swelling,” coach Rex Ryan said. “We’re trying to get Plaxico at 100 percent, so what we’ll do is he’ll come out (next) Wednesday, we assume he will be 100 percent then if we back off him completely now.”
Burress had the MRI on his left ankle, which he rolled while running routes last week, and he said “it’s just a classic tweak, a classic sprain.” He added that it’s “nothing serious.”
“My goal is to be out there Wednesday next week, going 100 percent,” Burress said. “I think I can go Monday. But, it’s not my call.”
On Thursday, Ryan said he hoped Burress would be able to participate in “a few plays” in the preseason opener. The team’s doctors nixed that plan Friday. Burress, wearing a compression sock on the ankle, also thought he was going to play until Friday morning, but acknowledged that the swelling has taken a few days longer to subside than he initially figured.
Burress, who signed with the Jets on July 31 after spending 20 months in prison on a gun charge, is recovering after rolling the ankle last week while running routes with Santonio Holmes. He hasn’t participated in any team drills since being in on three plays Monday.
“It’s the preseason,” he said. “We have the chance to do it right, so let’s do it right the first time.”
Burress dealt with ankle issues during the 2007 season, when he tore a ligament in his right ankle. He says this latest injury doesn’t come close to comparing to that.
“I know the difference between pain and soreness,” he said. “This is just soreness. This is just a minor sprain. And if I remember correctly, the last time I tweaked an ankle in training camp, I won a Super Bowl.”
That was the season the Giants upset the then-undefeated New England Patriots, with Burress catching the winning touchdown pass.
Burress won’t have to fly until the third week of the regular season, when New York is at Oakland. After Monday, their remaining preseason games are at New Meadowlands Stadium – including an “away” game against the Giants. The Jets then open the regular season with home games against Dallas and Jacksonville.
“If we had to play a (regular-season) game, he would play, he would definitely play,” Ryan said. “That’s the way we would approach it. He wants to go, but it’s, ‘Let’s just hold you out here,’ and I think it’s the smart thing to do.”
Burress said the team doctors told him to wear a more supportive shoe than he has been, and he’ll continue a treatment plan that includes icing the ankle as well as compression and rest.
“My time will come,” he said.
Meanwhile, center Nick Mangold is day to day after suffering a stinger in practice Thursday that caused some temporary numbness in one of his arms.
“That’s always a little disconcerting,” he said. “It always shoots a shock to the system, but it seems to be doing better today.”
Mangold could participate in individual drills, but not 11-on-11s, and it was uncertain if he’ll be able to play in Houston.
“I’m feeling good,” Mangold said. “It was just a stinger, nothing too crazy. They want to take precautions with it.”
Mangold, who was down on both hands and knees for several minutes following a goal-line drill, was examined by the Jets’ medical staff before getting up slowly and walking off the field under his own power. The neurological injury, common in football and other high-contact sports, also is called a “burner,” which often involves the pinching of nerves in the neck and/or arm.
“I went over there and then he got the feeling back in his hand and it was like, ‘Oh, shoot,”‘ Ryan said. “You could see the relief, not just on his face, he probably saw it on mine.”
X-rays were taken on his spine and neck, and they turned out fine.
Mangold said “everything went a little shaky there” when the injury happened, and called it “just part of the game.”
“It’s a little odd when the trainer tells you to stay down, don’t move,” he said. “After that, no big deal.”
Right guard Brandon Moore was moved from the physically-unable-to-perform list to the active roster after he missed the start of training camp while recovering from offseason hip surgery.
Moore, the second-longest tenured member of the Jets, had surgery on his hip in February. He’ll be limited to individual drills and isn’t expected to play against the Texans.