(Sports Network) - A preseason of great drama will continue for two teams on Friday night, when the New York Jets play host to the Washington Redskins in the third preseason tilt for each club.
For the Jets, much of the soap opera has been of their own making, given the team's decision to be profiled on HBO's critically acclaimed "Hard Knocks" documentary series this summer. But Rex Ryan's team has certainly given the network its money's worth, with cornerback Darrelle Revis' contract holdout, the somewhat slow development of quarterback Mark Sanchez, and Ryan's rampant profanity (and the criticism of it) garnering a lion's share of the attention.
On the field, the Jets followed a 31-16 loss to the New York Giants with a lackluster 9-3 win at the Carolina Panthers last Saturday.
Sanchez and the first-string offense struggled mightily, with the second-year pro finishing 5-of-10 for 12 yards in the loss. The Jets offensive line also allowed five sacks in the contest.
The Jets' first-team is expected to see its most extensive action of the preseason on Friday night, and will try to shake off its Carolina failure.
Meanwhile, Washington will be without its highest-profile first-teamer on Friday, as quarterback Donovan McNabb went down with an ankle injury in last Saturday's 23-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and will not play against the Jets.
Quarterback Rex Grossman, who has compiled an impressive 97.7 passer rating during the 2010 preseason to date, is expected to get the start for the Redskins.
The big story for Washington defensively will be the potential availability of defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, whose ongoing war with the team and head coach Mike Shanahan continued last week.
The $100 million former Pro Bowler was benched for the entire first half against the Ravens, and railed on Shanahan and his handling of Haynesworth's medical condition in a postgame interview.
Haynesworth has participated in fewer than half of the Redskins' practices since training camp opened, and it was revealed (though not by the team) following the Baltimore game that the tackle is suffering from the muscle condition rhabdomyolysis.
In addition to McNabb, fullback Mike Sellers (knee), wide receiver Malcolm Kelly (hamstring) and safety Kareem Moore (knee) are expected to be absent from the Washington lineup on Friday.
The all-time preseason series between the Redskins and Jets is knotted, 4-4, with Washington evening the series by virtue of a 13-10 road victory in the last such meeting, prior to the 2008 season.
Washington was a 23-20 road overtime winner when the clubs met for a meaningful contest, during the 2007 regular season.