Leftwich missed practice Wednesday with a sore groin, but returned Thursday and was upgraded to probable Friday.
“I’m not 100 percent, but who in the NFL is 100 percent during the season?” Leftwich said Friday. “But I’ll be out there playing on Sunday. I won’t be limited in any way come Sunday.”
Leftwich was injured in the fourth quarter of the Jaguars’ loss at Indianapolis last week, getting bent awkwardly during a tackle. He hobbled off the field, but didn’t miss a play.
Martin, the defending NFL rushing champion, suffered a bruised right knee during the Jets’ win over Miami. Martin also sat out of practice on Wednesday and returned Thursday, and was upgraded to probable on the injury report.
Coach Herman Edwards said Martin did everything in practice and will play. In his first comments since getting hurt, Martin said he has learned to deal with the pain that comes from playing such a tough position.
“My main thought is all pain is temporary,” said Martin, who last missed a game in 1998 and has missed just four during his 11-year career. “It can’t last forever. You can get through it for three hours in a game and then you can suffer and cry and everything afterward.
“That’s the attitude I try to take. I often try to focus so hard on something else that it takes my attention away from the pain.”
The most obvious reason why both teams want their star players in the lineup is because they have had problems getting in the end zone in the early going, combining for just five touchdowns.
The Jaguars handled Seattle 26-14 in their opener two weeks ago, but had to settle for four Josh Scobee field goals. Last week against Indianapolis, the Jaguars were held to 175 net passing yards in their 10-3 loss.
Leftwich completed 16 of 29 for 198 yards, but spent the better part of the afternoon running for his life. In the end, he was sacked six times and eventually injured.
However, the Jaguars had to feel good about their 128 rushing yards and 5.3-yards per carry average against the Colts’ stout defense. Fred Taylor finished with 81 yards on 16 carries.
The Jets have looked equally rusty on offense, getting a late touchdown pass from backup Jay Fiedler in their 27-7 loss to Kansas City in Week 1 and often looking disjointed last week in a 17-7 win over Miami.
Quarterback Chad Pennington finished 19-of-30 for 190 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions following a nightmarish performance in which he had six fumbles, lost two, and threw an interception against the Chiefs.
Still, he’s under no illusions that the team has a firm grasp of new offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger’s scheme.
“We’re light years from where we need to be,” Pennington said. “It’s not going to happen overnight.”
With a win Sunday, the Jags could be in position to make an early move in the AFC South as they next return home for back-to-back games against Denver and Cincinnati.
The Jets, on the other hand, have little choice but to start scoring some points because their next three games are also against solid defenses. They will travel to Baltimore and Buffalo, with a visit from Tampa Bay sandwiched in between.
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