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Pennington hobbled by ankle injury, still preparing for Sunday

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Chad Pennington didn't throw any passes or take any snaps with the New York Jets offense during the Wednesday practice session the media was allowed to view. Yet he's still hoping to play on Sunday.

"It's just a day-to-day process and I'm working extremely hard around the clock to do everything I can to prepare myself to play," said Pennington after taking the podium -- with little sign of a limp -- at the pre-practice news conference. "I'm just taking it day by day and seeing how much progress I make each day."

The Jets remained tightlipped about the nature of the injury, and wouldn't reveal if Pennington had an MRI, which he was believed to have taken Monday. And Pennington said he is preparing as if he'll be out on the field despite his injured right ankle.

"I'll be out there," the Jets quarterback said
Wednesday. "As far as reps and things like that, I have no idea what the coaches have in mind. I'll be ready to do whatever they ask me to do."

However, sources familiar with the Jets' plans told the Newark Star-Ledger Wednesday that second-year QB Kellen Clemens will replace Pennington and make his first NFL start against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

In that report, one source said: "Yeah, Chad's not going to play. It's Kellen."

Pennington injured the ankle when he was sacked by Jarvis Green
during the third quarter of the Jets' 38-14 loss to the New England
Patriots.

Coach Eric Mangini does not allow anyone in the organization to
discuss injuries, including himself, saying they are internal
matters.

"We'll see how it goes," Mangini said. "And it's really like
everybody. We'll talk to the doctors, we'll see how it works and
then we'll monitor it as we go."

Pennington, wearing a black wrap around the ankle at practice,
participated in some footwork drills.

He was listed as limited in practice on the team's injury report
released Wednesday afternoon.

"I think we're seeing progress every day," Pennington said.

The quarterback walked with a slight limp on the field,
appearing to walk considerably better than he did after the injury
Sunday. He said he's received all kinds of treatments since getting
hurt, but wouldn't go into specifics.

"All of your typical stuff that you guys know about,"
Pennington said. "We're doing everything we can and doing it
multiple times."

The injury is the latest setback for the quarterback. He has
missed time during his eight years in the NFL with
career-threatening shoulder injuries in 2004 and 2005, as well as a
wrist injury that sidelined him for six games in the 2003 season.

"I'm not frustrated, I'm disappointed," Pennington said. "I
want to be out there every snap, every rep, practice, games.
Whatever it is, I want to be there, so I'm disappointed that I'm
not. I'm not frustrated because I understand the nature of the
situation. My whole goal, and I believe a big part of healing and
getting back, is having the right attitude and not looking at it
with a bad attitude."

Clemens won the backup spot by beating out veteran Marques
Tuiasosopo with an outstanding preseason. He could be in for a
tough task if he plays Sunday against one of the league's toughest
defenses.

"I'd be lying if I said your mind doesn't wander, but that's
ineffective and that's not going to help anybody out on Sunday,"
Clemens said. "So, really, I try to do the best that I can to
handle the things that are within my control, which right now,
aren't a lot."

Laveranues Coles, who has thrived during his career with
Pennington as his quarterback, doesn't think there will be any sort
of letdown on offense if Clemens plays Sunday.

"He works hard every day, day in and day out, and that's all
you can ask of any individual," the wide receiver said. "The
comfort level has nothing to do with going out and playing a game
on Sunday. The most important thing is going out and competing.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report