The Jets have managed to pull off the improbable, winning three straight divisional games in spite of losing defensive specialists Kris Jenkins, Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace. And things look to only get better for the defending AFC East champs.
Head coach Rex Ryan said he's hopeful Revis (hamstring) and Pace (foot) -- who worked out today -- will be able to suit up for Monday night's home game against Minnesota. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes also is set to make his debut against Brett Favre and the Vikings after completing his four-game suspension.
“Its much easier to play well when you have everyone on your team," said Ryan. "So having Santonio back, Darrelle and Calvin, this is the team we envisioned trotting out there every week. Obviously, minus Kris. We’ve also been without Wayne Hunter for two weeks. So hopefully we can get all our guys back. And again, we don’t make excuses. We just go out and try to get the job done.
"I was proud of the guys that had to step in and fill in. I thought the guys did a good job of getting some good wins – and divisional wins. That’s critical. It speaks of the kind of depth we have on this football team. We mention it all the time: everybody we have on our roster is going to have to contribute to our success. And guys just contribute to step up and that’s what’s been impressive about this football team.”
Because of Holmes' familiarity with the offense, Ryan expects him "to be up to speed" once he steps on the field.
"Santonio went all through training camp with us and all that. He was here in meetings, so we shouldn’t miss a beat with him," the coach said. "And to add a terrific player like Santonio to what we already have – our offense has been really rolling – it’s good. You have a tendency to say, ‘I’m gonna give Braylon this many passes, Santonio this many, J-Co this many, Dustin this many’ – that’s not how you do it. You go into the game, play what’s called and you throw it to the open guy. It should be a lot of fun to watch.”
"He can't wait to play," he added, referring to Holmes. "That much I know for a fact. Everybody knows that about Santonio. He's a great competitor and competitors want to play. So he's going to do whatever it takes to get on that field -- and contribute to this team."
Ryan added that he's not overly concerned about Shaun Ellis' knee injury. The defensive end, who sprained his left knee during Sunday's game against the Bills, is scheduled to undergo an MRI today, but Ryan said the team doesn't "anticipate any ligament damage so hopefully he’ll be fine."