FOXBOROUGH — Cornerback Aqib Talib practiced Friday for the first time this week and was listed by the team as doubtful to play against the Jets.
Talib left last week’s game with a hip injury, did not return, then missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.
It would be rare — but not unprecedented — for someone who practiced only one day, with limited participation, to play in that weekend’s game.
Three Patriots were ruled out for Sunday: receiver Danny Amendola, who also missed the first Jets game with a groin injury, and didn’t practice this week after sustaining a concussion against the Saints; defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (knee); and running back Leon Washington (ankle).
If Talib doesn’t play, the Patriots will be without three of their top defensive players. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork (Achilles’) and linebacker Jerod Mayo (torn pectoral muscle) are out for the season.
Chris Jones ran into a small problem during last Sunday’s game against the Saints. But what a nice problem to have, and something he’s quite willing to overcome.
“I got tired out there a little bit,” Jones said after practice Friday. “But there’s a point where you’ve just got to push through it.”
The fatigue Jones felt was from playing every defensive snap — all 65 of them — in the 30-27 win over New Orleans. Some players might be accustomed to that kind of NFL workload. Not Jones, a rookie who is already on his third team.
Jones was drafted by Houston, then picked up by the Buccaneers after the Texans released him Aug. 31. The Patriots claimed Jones Sept. 11, a day after Tampa Bay released him.
A 6-foot-2-inch, 309-pound defensive tackle who played at Bowling Green, Jones might have remained fairly anonymous on the Patriots sideline were it not for the season-ending injury suffered Sept. 29 by Wilfork.
With the defensive leader suddenly out, Jones jumped at the opportunity.
“The better that I got, I guess the more confidence the coaches would have in me and they’d play me more,” said Jones. “I’m thinking that’s how it went. And hey, they played me.
“I’m very fortunate. There was a slow build-up, yet quick: I got here, started learning the defense, and now I’m playing.”
His quick transition to a new defense has impressed his coaches, who have responded with more playing time: He was inactive against the Buccaneers, then played 19 snaps against the Falcons after Wilfork went down; 35 snaps at Cincinnati, where Kelly, another defensive tackle, left with a knee injury; and finally all 65 snaps in the win over the Saints.
Jones has nine tackles on the season, and registered 1½ sacks against Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton.
“I would say in a short amount of time, he’s become a pretty dependable guy for us,” coach Bill Belichick said. “He’s got good size, he’s athletic, he’s got some quickness, he’s a smart player, he’s got a good motor.”
“As we’ve already seen, he’s made some hustle, chase kind of plays on screens and pursuit plays on the other side of the field. He’s worked really hard since he’s been here.”
The Patriots might have a hard time replacing Mayo and Wilfork, but they designated two players to take over their roles as defensive captains. Defensive end Rob Ninkovich and defensive back Devin McCourty have been named captains. It’s the first such honor for Ninkovich, who signed a multiyear contract extension this season. McCourty was a team captain in 2011-12 . . . Brandon Spikes was fined again by the NFL for wearing red cleats during Sunday’s game with the Saints. Spikes was docked $10,500, which comes a week after he was handed a $7,875 fine for wearing red cleats in Cincinnati. They were deemed nonconforming because they were a different color from those of his teammates.
It wouldn’t be Jets-Patriots week without a little bit of entertaining trash talk. It almost always comes from the New York side, and has once again this week.
Sheldon Richardson, a rookie defensive lineman who has 2½ sacks and 11 quarterback hits on the season, told the New York Post that the NFL coddles Tom Brady, noting that the rule against hitting quarterbacks low was put in after Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2008.
Richardson also shared an exchange he had with a referee during Week 2, when the Patriots beat the Jets, 13-10, at Gillette Stadium.
“I remember a play, a referee made it his business to tell me I was too close to hitting him,” Richardson told the Post. “I got close to him, shoved him a little bit, the referee said, ‘I could’ve threw the flag on you for that.’ ”
Richardson said he replied: “He didn’t even fall.”
The referee’s response, according to Richardson: “It doesn’t matter.”
The Post had some fun with the story on its back page Friday, putting Brady’s face on a baby’s body and sticking him in a crib. The headline said, “Rock A-Bye Brady: Jets rook says NFL babies Tommy.”
Richardson didn’t stop there. He was asked about some of the Patriots’ on-field tactics.
“It’s on film,” he said. “Go back and watch. You’re going to see a lot of stuff, man, that the Patriots can do to you, that they get away with, that we can’t do to the Patriots. It’s just the way it is.”