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(Sports Network) - While bragging rights between the New York Giants and Jets won't really be decided until later on in the year, Monday's delayed preseason clash between the two MetLife Stadium residents will take on a special meaning for at least one of the game's participants.
Plaxico Burress spent four highly-productive seasons with the Giants from 2005-08 before the star-crossed wide receiver's career was temporarily derailed by a 22-month jail sentence resulting from an incident with a handgun at a Manhattan nightclub nearly three years ago. The now 34-year-old was released from prison in June and eventually caught on with the rival Jets, who signed Burress to a one-year, $3 million contract just prior to camp.
Burress didn't show any effects from his extended layoff in his long-awaited NFL return, catching three passes for 66 yards to help his new team record a 27-7 victory over the hapless Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 21.
The rangy wideout hauled in a 20-yard strike from quarterback Mark Sanchez on the Jets' first play from scrimmage and later got free for a 26-yard touchdown in the final minute of the opening half.
Sanchez had a productive night as well, with the third-year field general also connecting with Santonio Holmes for a 16-yard score and finishing with 173 yards on 12-of-20 passing. Dustin Keller paced the Jets' receivers with four catches totaling 73 yards.
The Jets added 156 rushing yards despite the absence of top back Shonn Greene, who missed the contest with a foot infection. The powerful 26-year-old was able to return to practice on Tuesday, however, and is expected to suit up with the first-team offense against the Giants.
These crosstown rivals were initially expected to face another on Saturday, but the arrival and impact of Hurricane Irene on the New York metropolitan area has pushed the game back a couple of days.
Sanchez could play up to three quarters and gets to face a Giants defense that's been ravaged by injuries all throughout this preseason. A few more names were placed on the team's list of walking wounded following last Monday's game against Chicago, with starting cornerback Terrell Thomas headlining the new additions.
Thomas sustained a torn ACL in his right knee late in the first half of the G- Men's 41-13 rout of the Bears and was one of three defenders to go down with a season-ending injury during the game. Reserve corner Brian Witherspoon tore his ACL later on, while promising rookie tackle Marvin Austin suffered a pectorals tear in the fourth quarter.
The Giants are already without standout pass rusher Osi Umenyiora for several more weeks after he underwent a recent knee procedure, while rookie corner Prince Amukamara -- the team's 2011 first-round pick -- is out until at least October after breaking his foot early on in camp.
As a result of those injuries, the Giants were prompted to sign a pair of veteran free agents, cornerback Brian Williams and defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, during the week.
The Giants' offense was led by a pair of reserves, with quarterback David Carr completing 9-of-11 passes for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns and rookie running back Da'Rel Scott breaking free for a 97-yard score in the final minutes.
No. 1 quarterback Eli Manning hit on just 8-of-16 for 78 yards against the Chicago starters before giving way to Carr late in the second quarter.
The Giants and Jets will also square off on Christmas Eve during Week 16 of the regular season, with the Jets the designated home team. The Giants will serve as the host for Saturday's matchup.
The Jets hold a 22-19-1 edge on the Giants in the overall preseason series, but Big Blue was a 31-16 winner over Gang Green in last August's encounter, the first NFL game played at MetLife Stadium.