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Eric Decker, David Nelson practice, say they're ready to face Lions

The Jets' Eric Decker catches a touchdown pass

The Jets' Eric Decker catches a touchdown pass during the first half of a game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. Credit: AP / Tom Lynn

Jets wide receivers Eric Decker and David Nelson practiced for the first time in a short week Friday and pronounced themselves ready for Sunday's game against Detroit at MetLife Stadium.

Decker caught one pass in Monday night's loss to Chicago before pulling himself because of a hamstring injury.

"I practiced today, so, I would say I'm ready to go Sunday," Decker said Friday. "I understand my body and what I need to do to help on this team. I'm not going to put myself in a situation where I make myself worse and make the team worse. I'm going to be smart, but I'm looking forward to going."

Nelson said his illness resulted from a case of food poisoning. "I just had to get it out of me," Nelson said. "It's hard to have that going on and do physical activity."

The lack of practice time for Decker and Nelson is a negative for an offense that made six trips into the red zone but totaled only 19 points against the Bears, but at least quarterback Geno Smith has all his weapons available.

"Watching the film, we had six opportunities and came away with one [touchdown]," Decker said. "We really need to score touchdowns. It's a matter of everyone doing their job and moving the ball on first down. We can't get in third-and-long. It makes it that much tougher because it's condensed down there."

Decker said the Jets know from their self-scouting that they haven't been effective running the ball in the red zone because defenses have less space to cover and can be more aggressive blitzing to stop the run. Things happen faster in the passing game, too, because the defense isn't worried about covering downfield.

"We've got to come away with 3 or 4 yards on first down so we can extend the playbook and go to more options," Decker said. "When it's third-and-long where we have to throw the ball, you cannot really keep them off balance.

"Geno has got to eliminate some turnovers, but he understands the mistakes he's making. If you make the reads easier, it's easier on him. But he's ready for the expansion and the options to have more plays and we'll keep progressing."

Smith threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown by the Bears on the second play of the game, and a fumbled punt led to another TD that put the Jets in an early 14-0 hole. But Nelson liked the way Smith fought back, even though he threw a red-zone interception in the third quarter.

"Even though he had the early turnover, he still came back and was moving the ball," Nelson said. "Any time you get in the red zone six times, you know you're doing something right.

"Unfortunately, we weren't able to put it in and finish the drives. So I definitely see him taking a huge step in the right direction. It's on us as receivers. It's on the offensive line and us as a unit to back him up. We didn't do a good job of that last week."

New York Sports