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Still no word on LB Thomas (pec) & WR Hill (knee)

Stephen Hill clutches the ball as he scores

Stephen Hill clutches the ball as he scores a 2nd quarter touchdown. (Sept. 9, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

Rex Ryan offered no updates on the injuries of Stephen Hill and Bryan Thomas.

Hill, their rookie wide receiver, injured his right knee and linebacker Thomas -- the longest tenured Jet -- reportedly tore his pectoral muscle in Sunday’s 17-10 win in Jacksonville.

“Stephen, unfortunately, has that injury. Not sure the extent of that injury just yet,” Ryan said Monday. “Really, with all the injuries, guys are still getting MRIs and things like that. Bryan Thomas has a pec (injury). I don’t know the extent of that injury right now.”

The suspicion is Hill – who suffered cartilage damage in his knee last week – aggravated the injury on Sunday, when he got tangled with Jaguars cornerback
Derek Cox, who was flagged for pass interference. Cartilage damage, of course, would a much better diagnosis than an ACL tear. But until the tests results are in, there’s no telling how long the rookie wideout will be forced to sit out.

Ryan also said oft-injured cornerback Aaron Berry – who has been nursing a quad injury – hurt his hamstring in Sunday’s game.

Depth has been an issue for the Jets wide receiving corps since training. But Hill’s latest injury leaves the offense in a pinch.

“We always look at all possibilities and things,” Ryan said, when asked if the Jets would look into sign free-agent receivers. “…But again, hopefully that won’t be the case with Stephen. Hopefully he’ll be able to bounce back.”

The coach is hopeful Dustin Keller is back in action for Monday Night's game in Tennessee. “It seems like he’s getting better," Ryan said of the tight end. "I thought he was getting better as the week went on, but again, it wasn’t to the point where he could play. Hopefully he’ll keep making those strides and he’ll be able to play, and adding another day (because of Monday Night game), hopefully that’ll get him back on the field.”

The coach also is hopeful Clyde Gates (concussion) will be healthy enough to play. Gates, who was injured in their Thanksgiving Night loss to the Patriots, still was experiencing sensitivity to light last week.

“Here’s a guy that was really coming on for us,” Ryan said of Gates. “And obviously you have Chaz (Schilens) and Jeremy (Kerley). So hopefully, Stephen won’t have that big of an injury.”

Naturally, Braylon Edwards’ name filtered into the conversation, but Ryan said: “Right now, I just think we’ll focus on the guys we have.”

Edwards was released last week by the Seahawks last week with the waive/injured designation. But because he went unclaimed, he’s technically still Seattle property.

Ryan also was peppered by questions about rookie draft pick Jordan White, who played in one game this season. Asked why what is “holding him back” from playing White, Ryan responded: “We’ll put the guys in that we think give us the best opportunity to be successful. Obviously, I prefer Jeremy Kerley in the slot. That’s just how I feel.

“I guess you could play (Jordan) outside, but primarily he’s a slot receiver. And really, as is Jeremy. Jeremy, to me, is more valuable as a slot receiver than he is as an outside receiver. And that’s no slight on him. You could say the same thing for Wes Welker. But obviously that’s a very valuable position. For us to put a guy in there in place of Jeremy Kerley, I’m not comfortable with that.” 

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