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Jets' LaDainian Tomlinson ruled out

The New York Jets will be without running back LaDainian Tomlinson for Thursday night's game in Denver against the Broncos, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

Tomlinson currently is bothered by a sprained MCL in his left knee. He suffered the injury on his final carry during the Jets' 37-16 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night, and did not practice this week.

A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Tomlinson suffered a setback on Tuesday, a report that was later denied by the 32-year-old veteran. Tomlinson said he thought he would've been able to play if the game was on Sunday, but said it would be "difficult" because of the short week. He believes he'll be ready when the Jets take on the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium in Week 12.

Tomlinson also suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee in 2008, and appeared for just two plays in the 2008 AFC Championship Game as a result of the injury. He said Tuesday, however, that his current ailment wasn't as serious as the one he had in 2008.

According to the Jets, this is the first time Tomlinson has missed a game with the franchise due to injury. He rested during last season's finale against the Bills.

Tomlinson has amassed 479 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns for the Jets in a reserve role. Look for backup Joe McKnight to see an increased workload behind starter Shonn Greene, while it seems likely that rookie Bilal Powell will be active and make his NFL debut on Thursday night.

Powell, the team's fourth-round selection in the 2011 draft, told reporters on Tuesday that he was "excited" for the opportunity. He has been inactive for all nine of the Jets' games this season.

The Jets will also be without rookie wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (knee). Kerley suffered the injury to his knee after it got twisted up during a punt return against the Patriots. Eron Riley, 24, is expected to be activated and make his NFL debut in place of Kerley.

Riley was signed by the Jets to their active roster off the Broncos practice squad on Oct. 19.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.