Jeremy Kerley's impact on field is significant

Jeremy Kerley (11) stretches for the end zone Jeremy Kerley (11) stretches for the end zone for a touchdown against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert McClain (27) during the first half. (Oct. 7, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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At 5-9 and 188 pounds, Jeremy Kerley can easily slip through the Jets' locker room unnoticed. But the slot receiver's impact on the football field has been undeniable.

Despite missing some time because of a concussion in Week 1 and a dislocated left elbow in Week 9, Kerley still leads the Jets with 347 receiving yards.

In the eight games Kerley has played in, the Jets are 5-3 and quarterback Geno Smith has a 77.0 rating. Without him, the Jets are 0-3 and Smith's rating is 16.9.

It's unclear if he'll suit up Sunday against the Dolphins. But one thing's certain: the Jets need him out there.

Though he's still favoring his left arm a bit, Kerley said he felt more confident this week being able to catch passes with two hands.

"I've just got to keep playing with it and keep practicing with it . . . and then make my decision," he said.

Though he practiced without a red non-contact jersey for the first time on Wednesday, "it was almost like: don't touch him," coach Rex Ryan said.

"Hopefully he doesn't take any steps back and hopefully he's able to play."

Kerley tried not to give a percentage on the health of his left arm, but he said if he was "60 or 80 percent healthy . . . that would be enough" to play.

Where is Hill?

Ryan insisted the best way to keep Stephen Hill "fresher" for games is to limit his practice reps. But when asked if the receiver's limited playing time against the Ravens was due to conditioning rather than performance, the Jets coach said: "No, it's not that. We're trying to play the best players. That's it."

Hill - who played 26 of 57 snaps (46 percent) - was targeted just once in Baltimore. The former second-round pick hasn't had a catch since Oct. 27 against Cincinnati.

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