New York Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson, left, and safety Emanuel...

New York Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson, left, and safety Emanuel Cook, right, try to block Marquice Cole (34) during NFL Football practice Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets are scheduled to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game on Sunday, Jan. 23, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) Credit: AP Photo/Mel Evans

Defensive back Marquice Cole returned to the Jets’ practice facility on Wednesday looking forward to getting back on the field for the first time this preseason.

Problem was, the team was off.

So Cole had to wait another day, and the third-year corner put on his pads for the first time Thursday. He had been out for family reasons.

“It feels great,” Cole said. “I was telling everybody I saw today that I missed them. I’ve been gone for so long.”

Cole will ease his way back into playing shape, taking part only in drills initially before he’s allowed back for full contact. Cole said just being on the field with his teammates was enough of a lift.

“It helps me get my mind somewhere else,” Cole said.

On the Jets’ first depth chart, Cole is listed as the fourth cornerback, backing up Antonio Cromartie. He had two interceptions -- including one for a touchdown against the Bills -- and 23 tackles in 12 games with the Jets last season.

“I don’t want to get hurt trying to go in and do too much,” Cole said. “I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

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