With an extra day to prepare for their Monday night encounter with unbeaten Houston (4-0), the Jets (2-2) are hoping to get tight end Dustin Keller and wide receiver Stephen Hill back on the field. But their hamstring injuries once again prevented them from practicing on Friday, leaving their game-time status very much in doubt.
Asked if he is optimistic about getting them back, Jets coach Rex Ryan said, “Normally, I would say yes because you do have that extra day, but the fact you’re out again, we’ll see how it goes. I know they’re making strides, and hopefully, they will be able to go. The fact they’re out another day of practice isn’t good, but I know for a fact those guys are getting better.”
Keller (pictured) has been the favorite target of quarterback Mark Sanchez, and Hill showed with two touchdown receptions in his rookie debut against Buffalo that he can stretch the field. At a time when Sanchez is struggling in the passing game, their loss has been critical. Ryan said it would be especially tough on Hill to be ready without much practice time.
“You test players to make sure they’re dialed in, but there’s no testing as a rookie,” Ryan said. “You’ve got to experience it. It’s hard to overcome. A lot of times rookies will make mistakes, and we can’t afford that. Hopefully, he’s been on top of everything, and when he gets back physically, he’s ready to go and won’t miss anything [mentally].”
Here’s the list Ryan provided for Friday’s practice: Not practicing – WR Stephen Hill (hamstring), DL Sione Po’uha (low back), TE Dustin Keller (hamstring), LB Bart Scott (toe), FB John Conner (hamstring), LB Bryan Thomas (hamstring) and S LaRon Landry (heel, normal weekly rest). RB Joe McKnight also not practicing (illness). Limited practice – S Eric Smith (hip/knee), CB Aaron Berry (ribs).