FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The stakes just got even higher for Kyle Wilson.
"I expect this will be his finest year," Jets coach Rex Ryan said Monday about the fifth-year cornerback.
Ryan's comment raised eyebrows, considering Wilson's struggles. The former first-round pick hasn't lived up to expectations since being drafted 29th overall in 2010. And Saturday, his skills again were called into question after Bengals receiver Mohamed Sanu burned him on a 43-yard touchdown in the Jets' 25-17 win.
Ryan said Wilson, who never looked back at the ball, wasn't entirely to blame for the TD. And although some have labeled Wilson a bust, Ryan insists he's headed in the right direction.
"I see Kyle as a player that's playing better and with more confidence then I've seen him play with in the past," Ryan said. "I was more encouraged by him than I was discouraged by him . . . I think he's going to have a good year for us."
Milliner MRI shows sprain
As expected, an MRI confirmed that cornerback Dee Milliner has a high ankle sprain. "But we feel confident that it's healing nicely," Ryan said, adding that the former first-rounder has really "attacked" his rehab.
Nick Mangold did not practice, though the veteran center said his toe injury isn't serious. Ras-I Dowling (groin), Jeff Cumberland (Achilles), Jalen Saunders (medical), Shaq Evans (shoulder) and Antwan Barnes (PUP) also did not practice. Eric Decker (groin), who was limited, caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith during seven-on-sevens . . . Chris Ivory (rib), Jeremy Reeves (knee), Marcus Zusevics (knee) and Dimitri Patterson (quadriceps, calf, ankle) also were limited. Asked if Patterson, a veteran cornerback, will be ready for Week 1, Ryan said: "I'd think he will be. I don't think any of his injuries are of the severe variety."