It's almost there for Kris Jenkins. It's almost time.
It's not almost time for the start of the process, though. It's almost time for another day in the process. That day just happens to be a gameday.
At least, that's what he continually swears with a smile on his face and a brace on his left knee.
"You have to understand, that out on the football field I just go play," Jenkins said... Being intelligent with what I do moving forward is important."
There you have it from the source: Jenkins' comeback is done. Long has been done, so he says. Now it is a matter of intelligence bred through reaction.
Essentially, there is no need to worry about his left knee anymore. The torn ACL is good to go.
"This [slapping his left knee] is here," Jenkins said after practice Friday here on the campus of SUNY Cortland. "It’s back. That’s what technology does nowadays."
Best advice then is to not tell the 360-pound defensive tackle that Monday night's preseason opener against the Giants -- Jenkins' first game action since Oct. 18 of last year when he suffered that torn ACL to his left knee -- is his first real test. He'll tell you, he's gotten plenty of those with the likes of Nick Mangold and company here in Cortland. And especially don't tell Jenkins that Monday will be any more special than another preseason game -- even if it might be the first game in the New Meadowlands Stadium against the Giants.
He gets it. He'll be playing in a game for the first time in what seems like forever. And it'll probably be a little bit of a bigger game as well. But Jenkins is adamant that he won' be testing anything Monday. He won't be nursing anything. He won't be challenged any more than he has been during the past two weeks. Even with his coaches words Friday.
Said Rex Ryan: "We have to protect his legs [Monday]."
It's not the beginning of the comeback. Merely another day grunting it out in a career that Jenkins said Friday morning he hopes will conclude with permanent residence in the Hall of Fame.
"I’m not nursing my knee, that’s what I’m explaining," Jenkins said. I’m out there banging, I’m out there doing my job, I’m out there handling my business. Being smart about it is different than nursing it.
Added Jenkins: "My focus isn’t about anything else other than handling my business, helping my team win and hopefully if I can, getting to the Hall of Fame one day."
Kris says he is too caught up in not getting caught up to start thinking about how he will play and how his knee will hold up Monday. He always has said that he plays a reaction game.
That's where he is: caught up in not getting caught up. He'll stay there for his game action Monday.
When asked about a claim made by the Giants heading into Monday, Jenkins did more of the same. At their own training camp in Albany on Thursday, some Giants proclaimed New York still "their city" and the new joint stadium still "their stadium".
No need to overly think about it for Jenkins. Just be cool. And react.
As with most everything else, it is what it is.
Said Jenkins: "If that's how they feel, that's how they feel... That’s cool that’s cool for them to feel that way."