(Sports Network) -continues his crash course as a professional quarterback when the rookie leads his new team into New Meadowlands Stadium for Sunday's game against the , who hope to have make a long-awaited NFL return in this preseason showdown.
Dalton, Cincinnati's second-round pick in this past April's draft, entered his first training camp as the favorite to take over signal-calling duties following franchise quarterback Carson Palmer's offseason decision to walk away from football unless the Bengals granted his trade request. The former TCU standout showed he's still got a long way to go to master the position, however, after experiencing a rough debut in the team's preseason opener.
Dalton's first pro pass was intercepted by Detroit cornerbackand the 23-year-old couldn't get Cincinnati's offense untracked over a half's worth of work in the Bengals' 34-3 defeat to the at Ford Field. Though he did manage to complete 11-of-15 attempts on the night, Dalton finished with only 69 yards passing.
While the Cincinnati fans and coaches will be monitoring Dalton's performance closely in his second start, the real focus of Sunday's tilt will be on Burress, provided the controversial wideout is over a sprained ankle that caused him to be scratched from the Jets' matchup at Houston this past Monday.
Burress did return to the practice field on Wednesday and appears ready for his first game action since his well-publicized 2008 incident with the local rival. The now 34-year-old accidentally shot himself in the leg at a Manhattan night club during November of that season, then wound up serving a near two-year jail sentence for violating New York City's strict gun laws.
The Jets signed the four-time 1,000-yard receiver in late July to become part of a revamped pass-catching corps for the 2010 AFC Championship Game participants. Head coach Rex Ryan stated earlier in the week that he's confident Burress will be able to go on Sunday.
New York did come out of its initial preseason game rather banged up, with several players sustaining injuries in the 20-16 loss to the. The most serious one occurred to reserve offensive lineman , who broke his right leg in the first quarter and will likely miss the next 8-10 weeks.
Linebacker Bart Scott also exited the contest early with a lower leg injury, while backup running back suffered a concussion. In addition, top rusher has been ruled out of this week's test after recently coming down with a foot infection.
Turner started Monday's game at center in place of All-Pro Nick Mangold, who's dealing with a shoulder stinger but may be able to suit up. Right guard Brandon Moore, however, will sit out another week while still recovering from offseason hip surgery.
New York's depleted front line allowed a total of seven sacks to the Texans.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez played the first quarter for the Jets and completed 6-of-7 throws for 43 yards before giving way to rookie , who threw for 203 yards and a touchdown on 23-of-39 passing the rest of the way.