Brodney Pool unlikely for Jets' opener

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- From all indications, it looks as if Jets safety Brodney Pool won't play in the team's season opener Monday night against the Ravens.

Pool has yet to complete a full practice since he sprained his left ankle in the Jets' 16-11 exhibition loss to the Redskins on Aug. 27. He is listed as questionable by the team.

Rex Ryan said Saturday that the team is deciding between playing Pool on Monday night -- and putting him at risk to aggravate the injury -- or sitting Pool to give him a chance to return to the field completely healthy.

"He's almost at that point, where [we say], 'Do we push him through it and risk him [having a] more longer, nagging injury? Or do we give him a little time off so he gets to one hundred percent?' " Ryan said. "That's what we're weighing right now."

Pool sat out of drills during the portion of Saturday's practice open to the media.

The safety said afterward he still feels a stiffness in his ankle that limits his ability to cut and change direction.

"I feel better than I felt then when I first did it [but] it's going to come down to Coach's [decision]," Pool said, adding that the stiffness needs to subside before he feels "comfortable enough to cut on it."

The 26-year-old Pool said he injured his ankle when a player fell on it during a fumble recovery against the Redskins.

The Jets signed Pool in the offseason to replace departed safety Kerry Rhodes. In theory, the hard-hitting Pool is a better fit than Rhodes for Ryan's blitz-heavy defense. Pool, who played five years in Cleveland before signing with the Jets, was limited to 11 games in 2009 due to a concussion.

Reserve safety Eric Smith likely would start in Pool's place Monday night against Anquan Boldin and the Ravens.

"It's one of those things that's probably a game-time decision but I'm preparing like I'm the starter right now," Smith said.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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