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Leonard Williams (hip) returns to Jets practice, plays with first-team defense

Jets defensive end Leonard Williams looks on during

Jets defensive end Leonard Williams looks on during training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Leonard Williams returned to practice Tuesday after missing more than a week with a hip injury.

Williams said his hip started bothering him during a scrimmage about 12 days ago. There was some inflammation, and the training staff shut him down for a little while. Jets coach Adam Gase said they would take it slowly with Williams, but he was back with the first-team defense Tuesday.

“I really didn’t want to miss too much time,” Williams said. “But I was trying to do everything the doctors and trainers needed me to do to be on the safe side. I wanted to get back to practice as soon as possible, so I didn’t take any falloff. Today felt good. I didn’t feel like I took any steps back or anything like that.”

Williams’ status for Thursday’s preseason game in Atlanta is unclear, but it probably makes sense for him to sit and not risk re-aggravation. He said he’s “not concerned” about it being a lingering issue, though.  

Fellow defensive lineman Henry Anderson practiced in full after leaving Monday’s practice with a head injury. Left guard Kelechi Osemele (pectoral) and rookie cornerback Kyron Brown (hamstring) – both injured Monday – did not practice.

The Jets also were without cornerback Trumaine Johnson (hamstring) and right guard Brian Winters (shoulder), and Gase said both would miss some time.

Leg up

Taylor Bertolet has kicked well in practice since replacing Chandler Catanzaro, who retired over the weekend. Gase said there is no plan as of now to bring in a second kicker and create a competition. Special-teams coordinator Brant Boyer liked Bertolet last year, when he was just beaten out by Jason Myers in camp, and sees improvement in Bertolet.

“He’s done a lot of work. He’s done a great job since he’s been back,” Boyer said. “He did a great job [last year]. I have a lot of confidence in the kid. He kicks a great ball, he has a strong leg. I really like the kid.”

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