FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — While it’s true that Sam Darnold and the Jets’ offense looked no worse for wear after their Week 1 victory over the Lions, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate a little extra help — say, in the form of one of their best targets from last year.
Though it’s still not official, it seems likely that Jermaine Kearse will play against the Dolphins on Sunday after missing the first game with an abdominal injury. Kearse, who had a career year last season, practiced fully Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and the lack of confirmation probably is less because of his overall health and more because of Todd Bowles’ notoriously tight-lipped nature when it comes to divulging injury news to the media.
“I feel really good,” Kearse said. “I’m excited for this weekend and I’m looking forward to the game.”
So that means he’s playing, right?
“Is that what Todd said?” he replied.
Well, technically, Bowles said the team will make its final call Sunday.
“I say what Todd says,” he said, smiling.
Kearse’s return, certainly welcomed by the Jets, makes it a little crowded at receiver, with Kearse, Robby Anderson, Terrelle Pryor and Quincy Enunwa — who missed last season with a neck injury but re-established himself with a strong game against the Lions — ll established at the position. Bowles reiterated Friday that he will use a rotation and didn’t tip his hand as to who will get the most time Sunday. And though that could give Kearse some pause, he didn’t show it.
“Everybody is going to be fresh,” he said. “We’re going to be rotating crews. We’ve just got to be ready. We’ve got to study all the positions, where we’re going to be at and the game plan, and be confident in the game plan, and when the game comes, just go out there and make plays and put on a show.”
Kearse said he learned to make the most of his opportunities during his time with the Seahawks, who, especially early in his career, didn’t give wide receivers all that much to do. After four years and three playoff appearances, though, he made his sixth playoff touchdown catch in 2015, a franchise record. He is coming off his best season (65 catches, 810 yards, five touchdowns) in 2017, his first with the Jets after five with Seattle.
“You’ve just always got to be ready,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always had to kind of deal with. Coming from Seattle, we didn’t really throw the ball a lot those first couple years, so you’ve just got to be opportunistic when those opportunities come and make the play when it comes to you.”
Darnold a laugher
Bowles had a hearty laugh Friday when asked if victory changed Darnold any. In short, no. “I didn’t expect him to go from Jekyll to Hyde, if that’s what you’re asking,” he said. “I think the first play last week [a pick-6 on his first NFL pass] kind of settled him down for the whole month.”
Linebacker Josh Martin (concussion) is out for Sunday’s game. Safety Marcus Maye (foot) is doubtful but has not practiced for more than two weeks. Bowles said that will not necessarily preclude him from playing Sunday. “He’s running better,” Bowles said, adding that it “wouldn’t be difficult” to play him despite no practice time. “He’s been doing a lot of good things, so we’re just going to monitor it.'' . . . Darrelle Revis will serve as honorary captain during the pregame coin toss against the Dolphins . . . A day after offensive lineman Ben Braden was cut, he was assigned to the practice squad.