Jets LB Harris claims illegal hit hurt him

Saturday's playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals will be a grudge rematch for New York Jets linebacker David Harris.

The leading tackler of the NFL's top defense has a few reasons to return from a sprained right ankle and make his presence felt. Harris, who practiced Thursday for the first time since getting hurt, claimed the injury was caused by an illegal block.

Harris was hurt while trying to blitz in the second quarter. Bengals running back Brian Leonard dove at Harris' legs. Tight end Daniel Coats was lined up in the backfield and knocked Harris backward, causing his leg to roll under Leonard.

"I got high-lowed, which means I was being blocked and the fullback came in and chopped me real low," Harris said. "I thought it was an illegal hit. Obviously, they didn’t call a penalty on it. It put me out, but hopefully I'll be back Saturday."

Harris said the Jets sent a copy of the play to the league for review.

"It puts you in an awkward and dangerous position when you get high-lowed like that," Harris said. "I don't think it was a fair shot."

Harris also would like to meet (read: collide with) Bengals running back Cedric Benson as quickly as possible.

Benson, who was deactivated Sunday night, stated earlier this week he didn't know who Harris was when asked by a reporter how the Jets' defense would change if Harris couldn't play.

"I'm only the leading tackler on the No. 1 defense," Harris chuckled. "It's just hard to not know who I am.

"If I play, I’m sure I’ll introduce myself early in the game to him."