Jets vs. Texans: New York Jets WR Plaxico Burress Needs Major Snaps in Debut

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IAugust 15, 2011

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - AUGUST 07:  Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets speaks to the media at NY Jets Practice Facility on August 7, 2011 in Florham Park, New Jersey.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

As the New York Jets gear up for their preseason matchup against the Houston Texans, there are plenty of things to watch for.

But perhaps the most interesting storyline will be Plaxico Burress.

The new Jets wide receiver has spent most of the last two years in prison after accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a New York City night club.

Now, he's out of prison and the New York Jets have signed the 34-year-old wide receiver to a one-year contract worth just over $3 million.

The 6'5'' Burress will give young QB Mark Sanchez a big target to throw to in the middle of the field and in the red zone.

But now, the question is, how much time should Burress see in the preseason?

Does he need a lot of time to get back into NFL shape? Or, should the Jets take a cautious approach with him to make sure he doesn't get hurt?

I'm in favor of the former, but it seems the Jets feel otherwise. They've chosen to sit Burress for the entire game in order to rest his somewhat injured ankle.

I think that's a mistake. The Jets should play Burress for the entire first half of their Monday night matchup against the Texans.

The Texans are the perfect team to acclimate Burress back into the NFL.

Working against a secondary as porous as the Texans' will give Burress confidence, as long as he runs good routes and didn't develop stone hands while in prison.

If he can make three or four catches in the game with no drops, he should come away feeling very good about himself.

Then, he can continue playing for most of the first half throughout the rest of the preseason against secondaries that are tougher than Houston's.

Unless the ankle injury is worse than the Jets are letting on, there's no reason Burress shouldn't see game action this week.

He's already missed too much practice—there's no reason for him to miss the game now, especially since he has been able to practice within the last few days.

If he's not in game shape by September 11, there's a good chance he'll be ineffective and a better chance he'll get hurt in the first couple weeks.

The Jets are making a mistake by not giving Plaxico Burress reps against the weak defense of the Houston Texans on Monday night, and it will show once the regular season starts and Burress looks lost on the field.