Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley was also ruled out after suffering a knee injury Sunday against the Patriots. Tight end Shawn Nelson (illness) and safety Brodney Pool (knee) will miss Thursday's game, too.
Coach Rex Ryan had said Tuesday that Tomlinson would do everything in his power to play.
"I hate to say that because you've seen guys sometimes, each one you don't know the severity of it. I know this, he wants to play. He's trying to do everything in his power to play," said Ryan. "It being on a short week, is it good for a running back and all that? Probably not, but I never want to hold it against him because I think I know the kind of competitor (Tomlinson) is. If he thinks he can help the team, he's going to go. Obviously, you have to protect the player from himself as well. So you have to lean on your trainers and your medical advice."