FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Plaxico Burress thought he was about to get away with it, was almost sure he had pulled a fast one.
The plan for the wide receiver was to participate only in the Jets' individual drills Sunday, even though his tweaked left ankle was feeling better than it had in days. But Burress couldn't help himself, sliding right into the first play of the team portion of the afternoon practice. He got away with it until Rex Ryan's eagle eyes spotted him.
"I tried to sneak in there and Rex basically told me, 'Hey, this is a good start and we don't want any setbacks,' " Burress said. "So if they wouldn't have taken me out, I would have kept on going. It's my first time out there in a couple of years and it just felt good to kind of get back in a groove. But Rex shut me down.
"I was trying to sneak in, but me being 6-5, it didn't work out too well."
Neither did the one play he was in on. Burress was split wide left and quarterback Mark Sanchez floated a pass in his direction, but it fell incomplete in part because Sanchez had some pressure surrounding the pocket, throwing off the timing.
"From what I understand, the defensive end got in there kind of quick," Burress said. "It was a sprint-out, roll-out to his left and I just cut my sprint down and tried to get to the spot he told me to get to, and things like that happen. The guy got in the backfield, so he really wasn't able to get out and sprint out and get the ball to where he needed to."
Between practices, Ryan sounded encouraged with Burress' progress. He said he could see action against the Texans in the Jets' first preseason game a week from Monday in Houston.
"I think he will, but I don't know how much he'll play," Ryan said. "We may block with him once or something. No, I don't know. We'll see how that goes."
Burress probably hopes it goes better than trying to fool Ryan in a game of hide-and- seek.
"I didn't think he would catch me. I didn't think Rex was playing attention," Burress said. "He kind of surprised me with how sharp he was. I just wanted to get out there, and I think they all understand and my teammates see me getting rehab two, three, four times a day, working hard to get back on the football field. It's something I miss, I love, and I just want to get back out there.
"They kind of have the reins a little bit, but that's cool, also. I understand, know where they are coming from. They don't want me to have any more setbacks than I already have. I'm just willing to fill any role that they give me right now and I just hopefully, when they kick it off next week in the preseason, first game, second game, that I'll be ready to go."