Jeremy Kerley (11) runs with the ball on a 26-yard...

Jeremy Kerley (11) runs with the ball on a 26-yard reception from quarterback Geno Smith as Tampa Bay Buccaneers middle linebacker Mason Foster (59) chases him during the first half. (Sept. 8, 2013) Credit: AP

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan hasn't been willing to make many definitive statements this season. But the presence of some key players on the practice field Wednesday had the coach proclaiming, "I think we're healthy as a football team, so I'm excited about that."

Ryan was excited by the return of wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, who was cleared after suffering a concussion in the season opener on Sept. 8.

Also at practice (but limited) was linebacker Quinton Coples, who has been out since suffering a hairline fracture in his right ankle on Aug. 17. Coples could see some action against the Bills on Sunday.

"It's hard to imagine that this guy would play after, what, [four] weeks it's been since he had surgery?" Ryan said. "The fact that he was out there, that'd be great. Will it be full-time and all that? I wouldn't think so. But man, that's impressive that this kid was out there today, even in a limited capacity."

Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson practiced fully after injuring his ankle last Thursday night against the Patriots. Running back Bilal Powell sat out with an illness.


Ryan said rookie cornerback Dee Milliner will play on Sunday. But he wouldn't say if the No. 1 pick will start after he was benched against New England.

"Dee's going to be in there," Ryan said. "It's not like Dee's sitting there riding the pine forever. That's not the case. Dee's going to be [an] active part. Is he a starter? He'll be starting in some capacity, I'm sure. But I'm not ready to say he's definitely going to be starting."

Jet streams

Ryan was asked if starting a rookie QB in Mark Sanchez in 2009 taught him any lessons for Geno Smith. "Yeah, play great defense." . . . Santonio Holmes on preventing drops: "Catch the ball." . . . OL D'Brickashaw Ferguson was fined $15,000 for his role in the fourth-quarter fracas against the Patriots, ESPN reported. Any other fines will be announced tomorrow.

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