Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets: How Shonne Greene's Absence Affects Jets

Chris Dela RosaContributor IAugust 19, 2011

Running back Shonn Greene #23 (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Running back Shonn Greene #23 (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, it was announced that New York Jets running back, Shonn Grenne, will sit out Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals because of a skin infection on his right foot.  Because of this inconvenience, veteran and future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson will start on Sunday night.

Shonn Greene's transition to starting running back last year hit a speed bump at the beginning of the season, forcing the Jets to name Tomlinson the starting running back for the rest of the year. 

This preseason is crucial for Greene to continue making his transition to starter, as he is expected to get the most carries this season.

With that, Brian Schottenheimer and the Jets' game plan in the opening drive was going to mimic their 2009 strategy of "ground n pound" and Greene was going to get many carries on a regular basis.  

Needless to say, this game plan will be changed now that Greene must watch Sunday's game from the sidelines.

One of the big story lines coming into this year's preseason was the Jets' acquisition of Plaxico Burress, after his release from prison in June.  Since signing with the Jets, Burress has spent most of his time watching practice from the sideline due to an ankle injury, but he will be placing his foot on an NFL field for the first time since 2008 on Sunday.

Not only did the Jets acquire Burress, shortly after training camp started, the Jets signed wide receiver Derrick Mason, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens at the end of the 136-day lockout in July. 

These two receivers may become the new focus of the offensive game plan for the starters.  While practice helps, these game situations will allow Mark Sanchez and his new teammates to build chemistry with one another, which is necessary for quarterbacks and their receivers in this league.

Last week, Mason showed that he could still run crisp routes and get open when the Jets needed him to. As for Burress, this will be his first time strapping on a uniform since November of 2008.

Without Shonn Greene to run the ball, the Jets will not look to give LaDainian Tomlinson the same amount of carries Greene would have received, since he is not expected to carry a heavy load this season.  

To make up for this loss, look for the Jets to call pass plays that give their new receivers opportunities to get the ball and prove that they still belong in the NFL.