The New York Jets will make their 2006 preseason debut Friday night in Tampa and Curtis Martin will not be in the lineup.Â Martin, a member of the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list since camp began, addressed the media Wednesday before the Green & White took the field for their second practice.Â The future Hall of Famer, who underwent surgery on his right knee last December, denied rumors that he is considering retirement and that he had another operation on his knee.Â
â€œI am here working out as hard as I can,â€? said Martin.Â â€œI am here every single day. I am probably up here more than a lot of the other players because I am doing extra work.â€?
Martin wouldnâ€™t discuss the condition of his knee and said he still hopes to play in 2006.Â â€œThat is what I am working out for. That is why I am up here spending all of these hours rehabbing,â€? he said.Â â€œThat is why I am doing it.Â For me, it is about doing as much as I can to put myself in the best possible position to be at my best.â€?Â
The Jets have practiced without Martin on the field, but he hasnâ€™t been a stranger at Weeb Ewbank Hall.Â Martin continues to help his team in the meeting rooms and the 33-year old works out on his own away from the cameras.Â â€œEvery single day I am up here in the morning. I go through every single meeting,â€? Martin said.Â â€œI take every single note. I am in the running back meetings helping the other running backs, trying to relate some of my experience to them.Â When the team comes out, I am working out two times a day and doing different rehab. It doesnâ€™t do me any good to be out on the field doing sit-ups and riding a bike.â€?Â
Next month, the Jets will open their regular season schedule at Tennessee.Â Martin was asked if he thought playing against the Titans was a possibility.Â â€œTime will tell. I donâ€™t know what exactly will happen,â€? he said.Â â€œI just keep preparing to be my best. It is what it is. Obviously I have missed some training camp, but I canâ€™t do anything about what I missed, but when I get back, I get back and I will take it from there.â€?Â
The NFLâ€™s fourth all-time leading rusher relayed a message of commitment to his fans.Â â€œI would like to say that I am trying to do my best to be as good as I can possibly be, and I am doing my best to be back as soon as I can possibly by back,â€? he said.Â “I just donâ€™t know everything. Thatâ€™s it. I do not want to spend time clearing up rumors that did not come out of my mouth or that came from someone elseâ€™s mouth. I donâ€™t know how long it will take me. All I can do is keep working.â€?