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Keller thinks he'll play vs. Indy

Mark Sanchez, left, and Dustin Keller of the

Mark Sanchez, left, and Dustin Keller of the New York Jets celebrate a touchdown during a game at Sun Life Stadium. (January 1, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images )

Dustin Keller jogged up and down the field during Monday night's pre-game warm up session. The Jets tight end had no intentions of facing the Houston Texans, but he told Newsday columnist Bob Glauber that he plans to be ready this week.

Rex Ryan confirmed as much during his Tuesday conference call with reporters, saying he was "encouraged" by Keller's optimism.

Less than 24 hours after the Jets' 23-17 home loss to the Texans, their coach was downplaying the effect of injuries on the final score.

“No," Ryan said, when asked if he feels like his team is "undermanned" with so many key pieces, especially on offense, missing. "Next man has to step up. I think you’re seeing Jeremy Kerley step up. There’s a guy that had about (94) yards receiving last night. That’s a guy we know is an excellent target. A slot receiver that is hard to cover. He gets open and I think he’s an outstanding weapon for us.

"I think Chaz is a young man we brought in, obviously, to be a physical presence in the running game but also he’s got that big body and also can contribute to special teams. I think he’s done that.

But the return of Keller -- who has just one reception for seven yards this season -- will be "huge" boost.

"There’s no question it’s going to be great to get Dustin back," Ryan said. "You’re talking about one of the better receiving tight ends in football. And hopefully Stephen Hill (hamstring) will be ready to roll this week as well.” 

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