1. The Jets don’t know when Muhammad Wilkerson will practice.
Wilkerson (broken leg) wouldn’t have been healthy enough to practice during minicamp, according to Todd Bowles. And even if Wilkerson reports on Day 1 of training camp, there’s no guarantee he’ll be on the field right away. “I wouldn’t think so, but I wouldn’t know,” said the head coach. “I don’t think they’ll let him participate in day one.”
Though Bowles acknowledged Wilkerson’s rehab is coming “along fine,” he still can’t pinpoint when he’ll have his Pro Bowl defensive end on the field. “We’ll wait and see and listen to the trainers and doctors and get a better feel closer to training camp.”
Expectations are that Wilkerson’s Week 1 status won’t be affected by the injury. “I’m hoping that’s the case,” Bowles said, “but I’ll wait and see it. I just hope he doesn’t have any setbacks.”
2. Wilkerson feels unwanted.
Along with the uncertainty over his recovery timetable, there’s still the issue of Wilkerson’s stalled contract talks -- and his mounting frustrations. “The stats speak for themselves,” said the former first-round pick, who has failed to get a J.J. Watt-level deal from two different Jets general managers. “Basically, what more do I need to do?” His venting caught the Jets’ eyes, but it didn’t bother Bowles: “It’s not a distraction, it’s just part of the business.”
3. Geno Smith is “light years” ahead of where he was a year ago.
That could be a good thing or a really bad thing depending on how you look at it. In the absence of Ryan Fitzpatrick, The coaching staff has talked up Smith, their presumptive starter. QB coach Kevin Patullo noted that Smith, 25, is “playing faster, he’s thinking faster” and “it’s going smoother for him. That’s been the big difference, I think, and where people are seeing the difference in him. It’s just happening faster.”
Smith was 11-18 as a starter before Fitzpatrick was forced to take the reins of the offense last August when Smith had his jaw broken in a locker room altercation with then-teammate IK Enemkpali. But with Fitz still unsigned, Smith is taking advantage of the opportunity to build chemistry with receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
“Being in the system a year, he’s light years ahead of where he was last year,” Bowles said. “As far as being confident and operating the system, and understanding the checks and running the offense, he’s night and day from where he was.”
Another tidbit: Smith participated in an offseason All-Star-caliber boot camp in Miami with several standout receivers, including Odell Beckham, Jr. and Antonio Brown.
4. There’s no “drop-dead deadline” for Fitz negotiations.
Despite all of the positive things the Jets are saying about Smith, their preference remains having Fitzpatrick under center. But the journeyman QB has refused to accept their contract offer (three years with a maximum value of $36 million including incentives). Bowles said there’s no “drop-dead deadline” to re-sign him, but the team has already discussed the possibility of signing a veteran quarterback if Fitzpatrick doesn’t return. And thought they’re not “at that point yet,” Bowles also acknowledged the team would have to move on from Fitz if the stalemate drags into late August. “If there comes a point, we get to Week 4 of training camp and he’s not here, you know who your starter’s going to be Week 1.
5. “Revis Island” is open for business indefinitely.
Despite what the critics say, Darrelle Revis believes he has plenty of elite years left. In fact, the Jets star cornerback — who turns 31 on July 14 — plans to play “until the wheels fall off.” And he doesn’t expect to be slowed down by Father Time or his surgically-repaired wrist. Though he admitted he still has a “ways to go” this summer before he’s 100 percent, Revis is on track to return to practice sometime in training camp. And he’s expected to be on the field in Week 1. “I’m hopeful,” Bowles said of the cornerback, who ruptured a tendon in his wrist sometime early last season. “If he doesn’t re-injure his hand, I would think he would be.”
In other injury news, new left tackle Ryan Clady (ACL) and running back Khiry Robinson (broken leg) are expected to practice during training camp too.