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The Jets Have Actual Football Issues to Worry About

Injuries to Sanchez and Holmes raise concern ahead of Bears game

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Dec 23, 2010  |  Updated 9:45 AM EDT
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The Jets Have Actual Football Issues to Worry About

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Someone with a very cruel sense of humor was pulling the strings on Rex Ryan's Wednesday press conference. 

After navigating his way through nine questions about the revelation of foot fetish videos that seem to feature his wife, Ryan finally got a question about his football team. The relief was short-lived. It had to do with Santonio Holmes's absence from practice and Ryan was forced to talk about the toe injury that kept the receiver on the sidelines. 

It just had to be a toe, didn't it? My kingdom for a groin injury! 

Even with the unfortunate spot of Holmes's injury, the switch from questions about Rex's off-field life to his team served a good purpose. They'll be on the field against a good Bears team, with an exceptionally good defense, on Sunday afternoon with serious injury concerns about two of their most important offensive players.

Holmes has turf toe and wasn't able to practice on Wednesday. That's not a particularly good sign, even if Ryan said he anticipates having Holmes back in the lineup on gameday. It's made worse by the fact that the man throwing him passes is also feeling a good bit of pain right now.

An MRI revealed a cartilage tear in Mark Sanchez's right shoulder. The injury was caused on a tackle in the first half of the win over Pittsburgh so he's already shown he can play with the pain and do a good job. The Jets chose caution with him during practice as he didn't do more than soft tosses during Wednesday's session. He's expected to play but, like Holmes, you'd prefer not to have one of your key players compromised in any way at this point in the season.

It's a tough spot the Jets find themselves in right now. On the one hand, they are in strong position when it comes to making the playoffs. That would suggest pulling back on the reins a bit and finding some rest for key players. But they still need one win, which means that they can't really relax all that much.

It's a lot to think and worry about, which is a good thing. Enough real business at hand makes it much less likely that there will be any kind of distraction caused by the stuff going on off the field.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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