Jets get influx of talent for matchup with Bills
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- When the Jets resume their surprisingly upbeat season Sunday in Buffalo, they'll be rested and reloaded.
Newly signed safety Ed Reed "definitely" will play, coach Rex Ryan confirmed Friday, and rookie quarterback Geno Smith is expected to have two more weapons back: wide receiver Santonio Holmes and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr.
Holmes and Winslow were listed as probable on the final injury report Friday and are expected to play in the Jets' first game back after their bye week.
Those three additions, combined with the news that the Bills will be without their top two receivers -- Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods -- put the Jets in solid position to start their stretch run with a victory that would bolster their suddenly realistic postseason hopes.
"I think we will be popping out of our skin on Sunday," Ryan said after practice. "I don't think there's any doubt about that."
In the Jets' ideal world, the return of Holmes and Winslow forces the Buffalo defense to focus more on the passing game, thereby giving them room to run and Smith more time in the pocket to throw when required.
It'll be Holmes and Winslow's first games in a while. Holmes has missed the last five games because of a hamstring injury and Winslow was suspended for the last four games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
The Bills don't need any reminders of just how dangerous Holmes can be when it comes to the deep ball. When the Jets beat Buffalo, 27-20, on Sept. 22, he caught five passes for 154 yards and a touchdown.
When Ryan was asked if the return of Holmes is essentially the equivalent of a midseason big-name acquisition, he scoffed.
"I think it's better than that," Ryan said, "because he already knows the offense.
"If you just pick up a guy and he's not familiar with it, you might get a shot in the arm by someone's athletic ability and talent, but Holmes knows it. He's been involved. He's been involved in the meetings and everything else."
Ryan acknowledged that Holmes probably won't play as much as he would if he weren't coming back from the hamstring injury, but he doesn't think that's going to limit Holmes' big-play capability. "We're not going to put him out there for 80 snaps," Ryan said, "but does he look good to me? Absolutely, he looks good."
Winslow, meanwhile, gives Smith a receiver whom he leaned on early in the season. Winslow was the team's leading receiver when he was suspended on Oct. 11.
He said he's not too concerned about picking up where he left off with Smith; instead, he said he's focused on seamlessly working his way back into a team that he thinks is jelling at the right time.
"The coaches know the formula for this thing," Winslow said. "Whenever I'm asked to go in there and do my thing, that's when I'll be ready.
"We're just getting better and we want to peak at the right time. I think this team is set up to do that."
Ryan agrees, pointing to the Reed signing this week as providing a boost to the team's morale.
And considering that each game will go a long way toward deciding their postseason fate, it was good timing.
"He chose us," Ryan said of Reed. "You can look at it that way, too.
"It wasn't like we were the only suitor for Ed Reed. He chose us. He chose to be a New York Jet."