Tomlinson ready for stretch run

New York Jets (6-5) running back LaDainian Tomlinson (knee) returned to practice Thursday. He missed the previous two weeks with a knee injury, but expects to play Sunday in a must-win game against the Washington Redskins (4-7).

"It felt good running around and cutting," Tomlinson told reporters. "I really pushed myself to see where I really was, and I was happy with the way I responded. It wasn’t too sore, it didn't swell up at all, so that let me know that I'm ready to go."

Tomlinson says he feels fresh for the stretch run, which is good news for the Jets. Starting running back Shonn Greene has been banged up, and the team is still learning to trust inexperienced backup Joe McKnight.

A healthy Tomlinson will be a much-needed addition to New York's backfield. He only has 46 carries this season, which is a career-low.

"That was pretty much the gameplan for the year, to keep me fresh and down the stretch possibly increase my workload," Tomlinson said. "So I am fresh and feeling good, so the coaches have that option, if they want to use me more."

The Jets have little margin for error. They are behind teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) and Denver Broncos (6-5) for the final wild-card spot in the AFC.