HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -Jets starting safety Erik Coleman is doubtful for New York's game against the Giants on Sunday because of a concussion.
Coleman was injured during the Jets' 17-14 loss at Buffalo last Sunday, but didn't show symptoms of a concussion until after the game. He missed practice all week and was listed as doubtful, but not out, on the team's injury report Friday.
``It's something we're monitoring very closely,'' coach Eric Mangini said. ``We'll just gauge it each day. He's going through the normal preparation routine in terms of meetings, film work, that type of thing, like any injured player would or any player that's rehabbing would.''
Coleman, who wasn't in the locker room during media availability all week, started the Jets' first four games and leads the team with 35 tackles. Eric Smith would likely get the start if Coleman can't play, with Rashad Washington and Abram Elam filling in.
``I've really liked what I've seen from him since he got here and his approach,'' Mangini said of Smith. ``He's a very tough player. He has a nice combination of size and the ability to play in the deep part of the field.''
Smith, a third-round pick out of Michigan State last year, was pushing Coleman for the starting spot before injuring his right hamstring a few days before the preseason opener against Atlanta in August.
``That was real frustrating, sitting there watching practice,'' Smith said. ``In preseason games, I'm watching everybody getting on the bus to go to games and I'm still here getting treatment and doing all that stuff. Then, not being at the game and watching it on TV, that was probably the most frustrating thing of all.''
Smith said he's seen a bit more action with the first team this week in Coleman's absence.
``We kind of split the reps up anyhow,'' Smith said. ``We try to get everybody reps because you never know what's going to happen during the course of game, so we try to get everybody prepared.''
Smith had 16 tackles and two interceptions last season, working mostly in nickel and dime packages as well as special teams.
``Eric is a pretty stout guy and has done some really good things,'' defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. ``I know when we were looking at him in college, one of the things that was impressive was that he was a very good tackler.''
Smith, who has four tackles and a pass defensed, would give the Jets a bigger presence in the secondary against the Giants, who have a number of tall receivers. Smith is 6-foot-1, while Coleman is 5-10.
``We have a lot of confidence in Eric,'' Sutton said. ``He played a lot for us last year as a rookie. He's a guy that has really good range as a player, is a physical guy and does a really good job on (special) teams. He just has to get in there and play.''
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