Jerricho Cotchery was finally able to report to work Friday morning, something he tried to do earlier this week and was turned away.
Cotchery, rehabbing his back after February surgery for a herniated disk, tried to get a workout in on Tuesday, the first day following Judge Susan Nelson's ruling that owners must lift the lockout. But the wide receiver wasn't allowed to use the Jets' facilities nor talk to any coaches.
That all changed Friday morning as the NFL officially opened its doors, welcoming the players aboard. Cotchery was one of five players who showed up, joining LB Bart Scott, RG Brandon Moore, LB Davis Harris, LB Josh Mauga, and LS Tanner Purdum.
"Yeah, it’s good to be back in the building, good to go through the rehabbing process and just to talk to everybody," Cotchery said. "Obviously, the coaches in here, and all those of guys they have some draft work to do. But it was good to be back in today."
The building certainly had a more positive vibe than it did when Cotchery attempted to get back to work three days ago.
"Well, we’ve got a little more clarity," he said. "Everyone has a little more clarity to what we have going on right now. ... I did everything that I thought I was going to do the other day."
That includes meeting new strength coach Bill Hughan for the first time. He also got the chance to do something he had been salivating to do for weeks now: get in his beloved cold tub.
"I just came out of the training room," he said, "so the cold tub is coming in a few minutes."
The Jets haven't estalished any Organized Team Activity dates yet, and Cotchery said the plan is for them to begin their offseason program on Monday, when they're supposed to have a team meeting. This, of course, is all predicated on whether the NFL is granted a temporary stay by the 8th Circuit Court, something that appears to be a distinct possibility.
But Cotchery doesn't want to get all worked up wondering if he's not going to be back in No Man's Land come next week.
"I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to rehab like crazy until something else comes up. But I’m just going to make sure I get in that cold tub," Cotchery said with a hearty laugh. "I’m going to make sure I get in there before anything else comes up. But like I said, in these times, you have to embrace the day. You have to embrace it day-by-day.
"Whatever happens in the future, you can’t even worry about that," he said. "You just have to embrace this time right now. So, I’m able to come into the building and rehab and everything else. So, I’m embracing this moment right now and look forward to getting started again on Monday."
So he hopes anyway.