No. 39 was held out of practice on Wednesday, meaning he must be able to go full-speed on either Thursday or Friday to play this weekend against the New York Jets in the Meadowlands.

“He’ll be day-to-day,’’ coach Jim Haslett said of Jackson, who has a strained thigh muscle. “I would say he is questionable for the game.’’

Haslett wants to make sure Steven is truly healthy enough to play before he clears him for action. And for SJax, the only way to prove that is through a full-scale practice:

“Steven has to give us a full day’s work this week or he’ll not play,” Haslett said. “We can’t go into the game not knowing whether he can play or not. We’re going to make sure he can actually go in practice, and not just jog through. He’s going to have to give us a full day’s work, and I think he’ll feel better about it also.”

If Steven isn’t cleared to play, Kenneth Darby will carry the load at running back with newly acquired Samkon Gado serving as his backup.

But according to the Turf Show Times, nobody is quite like Mr. Jackson when it comes to toting the rock:

“Like we’ve said before, nobody matches what Steven Jackson brings to the field when healthy.”

We’ll monitor his status closely, but as long as Steven can go full-tilt in practice in one of the next two days, he can play on game day. For now, it looks like SJ is truly 50-50 in terms of availability. Hopefully he’ll be well enough to get back to shedding tackles and running over people like the SJax we know and love.

Haslett: Jackson has to be healthy to play (Belleville News-Democrat, Nov. 4, 2008)
Jackson fails to be a factor (Belleville News-Democrat, Nov. 3, 2008)
Clock is ticking as Steven Jackson does not practice (Ramblings, Nov. 5, 2008)
Haslett to go with backups? (, Nov. 5, 2008)
Rams search for backup runners (Turf Show Times, Nov. 4, 2008)