By Tyson Rauch
It appears that the New York Jets best offensive weapon, Santonio Holmes, may be ready to take the field on Sunday. The veteran receiver has been working diligently to recover from a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot and is preparing to play according to Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
“I thought he looked pretty good. He really hadn’t practiced a whole lot. It’s a new system. I thought he caught the ball well and I thought he moved around pretty well,” offered Ryan.
When pressed about Holmes availability on Sunday the head coach responded with: “We’ll make sure we have the absolute clearance from our doctors and our trainers before we do that. Obviously, he hasn’t appeared in any preseason games this year, (he’s) just now practicing. So we’ll lean on them. But as I’ve said all along, I certainly hope he plays.”
The return of Santonio Holmes would be a huge lift for the Jets offense, a unit that is now being led by rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Holmes would instantly provide Smith with a reliable target/route runner and would take some of the pressure off of the younger receivers like Stephen Hill, Clyde Gates, and Jeremy Kerley.
As for the remainder of the New York Jets injury report, quarterback Mark Sanchez (shoulder) will not suit up on Sunday, which moves Matt Simms to the backup position with Brady Quinn as the third string signal caller. The Jets have yet to provide any update on the health of Mark Sanchez other than he cannot play this week.
Defensive end Quinton Coples (ankle) will also miss Sunday’s game and will be replaced by a platoon of Garrett McIntyre and Antwan Barnes. McIntyre is a solid tackler and will be removed in favor of Barnes in pass rushing situations.
Antonio Cromartie (hip), Kellen Winslow (knee), and Kenrick Ellis (back) were all limited in practice on Thursday, but are expected to play on Sunday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a prominent player that could miss Sunday’s game, and no that player is not Darrelle Revis. Pro-Bowl guard Carl Nicks (foot) remains questionable, which would be a huge blow to the Bucs offensive line. As of now, Gabe Carimi is penciled in to replace Nicks, which has to have Rex Ryan and his defensive line chomping at the bit.
Darrelle Revis is listed as a full participant in practice, which means the former Jet has recovered from his serious knee injury. Bucs head coach Greg Schiano has not commented on the amount of reps that Revis will receive, but it would be shocking to see the All-Pro play the entire game. At the same time it’s doubtful that Geno Smith and the Jets offense are going to challenge Darrelle Revis all that often.
Did not participate in practice: DE Quinton Coples (ankle), WR Santonio Holmes (foot), QB Mark Sanchez (right shoulder)
Limited in practice: CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), DT Leger Douzable (illness), DT Kenrick Ellis (back), TE Kellen Winslow (knee)
Full participation in practice: LB Nick Bellore (oblique), T Willie Colon (knee, shoulder), G Vladimir Ducasse (calf), WR Edmond Gates (shoulder), LB David Harris (hip), DT Damon Harrison (knee), WR Stephen Hill (knee), T Ben Ijalana (knee), WR Jeremy Kerley (finger), CB Ellis Lankster (foot, hamstring), CB Dee Milliner (achilles), QB Matt Simms (calf, oblique), QB Geno Smith (ankle), G Brian Winters (ankle)
For more news and updates, visit Jets Central.
Tyson Rauch is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.