Tyrod Taylor stood at the lectern after practice and leaned all of his weight on his injured left leg for the entire seven and half minutes that he answered questions from the media. It served as an indicator of the defiant stance Taylor demonstratively takes when it comes to his high pain threshold and ability to play through injury. That's why it's his intention to do everything possible to make his sixth straight start on Sunday against the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals.
"That's the plan," said Taylor. "I'm working hard to get back out there."
Taylor said his ailing left knee feels better than it did Monday or Tuesday, and hopes that improvement continues. During the media viewing portion of practice he was able to jog up and down the field and take some drop backs and throw to receivers during individual position drills. He said his passing accuracy is unaffected by the injury.
Backup QB EJ Manuel took the majority of the first team reps, but Taylor took some as well Wednesday.
"As long as I can sit back there and throw I feel like I can be productive," said Taylor. "It's definitely a stability thing, but as far as moving around we'll see how that goes (Thursday) and if it's feeling better. It hasn't limited me much."
Mobility could play a big part in the decision facing a Cincinnati defense that ranks ninth in the league in sacks per play and has 15 quarterback takedowns in their first five games.
Head coach Rex Ryan talked about Taylor's ability to play through injury pointing out that he played the final eight minutes of last Sunday's game after sustaining the sprained MCL in his left knee.
"He finished the game and made some plays at the end of the game for us after he was pulled from the game," said Ryan. "So do I think he could play with it? He's already proven that."
Ryan did say however, they would not play Taylor on Sunday if he is at risk to make his injury worse. As bad as Taylor wants to play the quarterback knows his availability on Sunday lies in the hands of the team's medical staff and coaching staff.
Taylor has also talked to other quarterbacks in the league who have experience with MCL sprains, including EJ Manuel, who struggled with a series of knee injuries in his rookie year.
"I'm going to be smart moving forward. I want to be able to play at a high level and if I can't the coaches will make a decision off of that," said Taylor. "The knee is getting better and it feels better than it did yesterday and I'm just taking it day by day."
Taylor said by Friday they'll know for sure whether he'll start or sit on Sunday.