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Jets Q&A: Chris Ivory: I could've played

New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33)

New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) prior to the Philadelphia Eagles at the New York Jets on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

Why did Chris Ivory not play

if he was active for the game?

The Jets running back, in full uniform, stood on the sideline but never made an appearance in the Jets' 24-17 loss to the Eagles Sunday. And his absence was felt, as the Jets were outrushed 123-47.

"He warmed up and said he could play," coach Todd Bowles said of Ivory, who was questionable for the game because of a quadriceps injury. "He missed a lot of practice time during the week. We thought it would be better to go with the other two guys to make sure he was full speed next week."

Ivory, though, told reporters after the game that he felt he could play.

"I'm not sure how the decision was made. I felt comfortable enough to play [after warm-ups], but I just didn't want it to be nothing that would linger around," he said.

Bilal Powell was the Jets' leading rusher with 31 yards, followed by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (13) and Zac Stacy (3).

What was Jeremy Kerley's reaction to actually playing on offense?

With Ivory out, plus key injuries to the Jets' receiving corps, the veteran slot guy finally got a chance to show what he can do on offense.

"I feel like I'm a quarterback's best friend," said Kerley, whose six catches for 33 yards and 7-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter were among the few bright spots for the Jets.

"I just feel like I move different than everybody else out there,'' he said. "Everybody's different, everybody brings different talents to this game. I think my intangible is my ability to create separation, and that's at the line of scrimmage. I don't try to play outside myself . . . So I use what I have to my advantage."

With Eric Decker (knee sprain) and Chris Owusu (knee scope) unable to play, Kerley and Brandon Marshall (10 catches, 109 yards, one touchdown) were the focal points of the passing game. But after weeks of being the forgotten man in Chan Gailey's offense, Kerley wasn't sure if he had impressed his coaches.

"Probably so. Who knows? I just wanted to get the win," Kerley said. "That would have been better than opening up eyes today."

Kerley, who played only one offensive snap in each of the previous two games, said he wondered how much he'd be used. But he added: "I didn't lose no sleep over it. It's not my first rodeo. It's definitely not my first game and it won't be my last."

Despite Fitzpatrick's three interceptions, Kerley praised his quarterback. "He's a general out there," he said. "Hopefully, I can be out there a little bit more with him."

How did Devin Smith feel after playing in his first NFL game?

"I've never been out this long. It's a great feeling to be back," said the rookie receiver, who was active for the first time after breaking several ribs early in training camp. Smith, who caught three passes for 39 yards, including a 16-yarder, said he wasn't at all worried about getting hit. "This is football," he said. "You can ask anybody in this room if they're worried about getting hit and they'll probably tell you no."

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