FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Duane Brown made it through the Jets’ practice week in good health and appears set to return as their left offensive tackle for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.
“Everything’s been good,” he said after Friday’s practice. “As of now, I imagine I’ll be good to go, so far.”
Brown, 37, missed the first four regular-season games because of a shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve. The Jets have three weeks after his return to practice to activate him.
Brown, a five-time Pro Bowler with the Texans and Seahawks, signed in August after the Jets lost Mekhi Becton for the season, thinning their ranks at tackle.
Then Brown went down, as did George Fant, as did Max Mitchell. Guard Alijah Vera-Tucker moved to left tackle in last Sunday’s victory over the Steelers.
Asked if he might have given his shoulder another couple of weeks if not for the injury bug, Brown said, “No, I didn’t want to wait any more days.” But he did add, “Credit to the line, everyone shuffling around, guys stepping in and contributing. It made the pressure not as hard to try to get back immediately.”
Brown said he is “very excited” to get back.
“I came here with high expectations for myself and what I could contribute to the team, and being sidelined for the first four games was tough,” he said. “So the chance to get back and do my thing, be out there with the guys, it means everything to me.”
Brown said the layoff was particularly difficult because he is new to the team and eager to earn the respect of teammates. But given his 15 seasons in the league, that never was an issue.
“It’s great to have him back out there,” left guard Laken Tomlinson said. “Obviously, he’s a hell of a guy, a lot of experience playing ball and really works well with the guys, works well with me.”
Might all of the early-season injuries and angst, as unwelcome as they have been, pay off later in the season?
“I believe so,” Tomlinson said. “Versatility is a great thing.”
Notes & quotes: Saleh, who grew up in Michigan as a Tigers fan, said he and his family will be rooting for both the Mets and Yankees. “It’d be awesome to get a little Subway Series going for the World Series,” he said.