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Where's Plax? Handing out turkeys

The Jets returned to work Monday to begin preparation for Sunday's critical game against the Bills, but Plaxico Burress was nowhere to be found.

He was down in Virginia Beach, Va., his hometown, doing community service.

Let's explain.

Burress received two personal days from the Jets, according to Rex Ryan, who said he agreed "a while ago" to grant Burress the excused absence. That was before Ryan changed the Thanksgiving-week practice schedule.

The usual day off for players is Tuesday, but Ryan changed it recently because he wanted to give them a day off on Thanksgiving. As a result, they're practicing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday this week.

It certainly raises questions, with Burress missing two of four practices before a virtual must-win game, but Ryan wanted to keep his word to Burress, according to a team spokesman.

Ryan, in his news conference, didn't provide any details, saying, "He's got a personal day today and tomorrow. I'll just leave it at that."

ESPN's Josina Anderson tweeted late Monday that she told by Burress' wife that Plaxico is taking care of "philanthropic business" in the Virginia Beach area. He was planning to visit his old high school, meet with kids and distribute Thanksgiving turkeys to low-income families, she tweeted.

A team spokesman confirmed that Burress is in Virginia, doing community work.

It's unclear if Burress' charity work is connected to his probation. Burress was released in June after serving two years in prison for illegal weapons possession.

Ryan evidently feels that Burress is such an experienced player that two missed practices isn't going to hurt him or the team, but some might argue that Burress could use the time with QB Mark Sanchez. Burress leads the team with six touchdown catches, but he has only 30 catches in 68 targets -- the worst ratio on the team.