By Tyson Rauch
The New York Jets offense will be getting a huge boost on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills as wide receiver Jeremy Kerley will be returning from injury (concussion). Kerley is a dynamic playmaker that is normally featured in the slot, a position where the Jets struggled mightily last week against the New England Patriots. Jeremy will be used in a variety of formations, including the wildcat, and will provide Geno Smith with a reliable set of hands.
Another area where the Jets playmaker will give the team a lift is on special teams, as the wide receiver should resume his role as the primary punt returner. Gang Green’s return game has been a nightmare as of late so Kerley should bring the unit back to some semblance of normalcy.
A boost to the pass rush?
It appears that defensive end Quinton Coples (ankle) is close to returning to action as he resumed practicing this week. Coples is an important cog in Rex Ryan’s defense as he is used at both outside linebacker and defensive end. Quinton’s versatility gives Rex a tremendous amount of flexibility in his blitz packages and should improve the team’s pass rush. If the Jets defensive end does return on Sunday it will more than likely be on a limited basis, primarily on obvious passing situations.
Buffalo’s Byrd remains questionable
Jairus Byrd, the Buffalo Bills two-time Pro-Bowl safety, remains questionable for Sunday’s game against the Jets. The defensive standout has been dealing with plantar fasciitis and reportedly was limited in practice. The Bills have used former Jet Jim Leonhard to help replace Byrd. Leonhard has been very consistent for the Bills but lacks the big play ability of Byrd.
One other notable injury for the Buffalo Bills is Stephon Gilmore who will miss Sunday’s game with a wrist injury. Gilmore was injured late in the preseason and is arguably the Bills best cover corner. Buffalo will use a platoon of players to replace Gilmore including Ron Brooks, who is battling an injury, as well as Nickell Robey. Look for the New York Jets to try and take advantage of this situation by featuring Santonio Holmes in spread formations. The veteran wide receiver should be able to consistently get off coverage and make plays over the middle of the field.
Did Not Participate In Practice
WR Santonio Holmes (Foot) – scheduled day off
Limited Participation In Practice
DE Quinton Coples (ankle), DT Kenrick Ellis (back), DT Sheldon Richardson (shoulder), TE Kellen Winslow (knee), T Oday Aboushi (knee)
Full Participation In Practice
G Willie Colon (knee), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), WR Edmond Gates (knee), WR Stephen Hill (knee), T Austin Howard (ribs), WR Jeremy Kerley (concussion), LB Garrett McIntyre (knee), QB Geno Smith (ankle), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)
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Tyson Rauch is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on aExaminer.com.