Chaz Schilens can't ride the stationary bike forever.
The wide receiver – projected in the offseason to be the Jets’ No. 2 option behind Santonio Holmes – hasn’t been on the field in weeks. And with the roster cut-down deadline (Aug. 27) looming, it’s been difficult for Rex Ryan to evaluate the injury-prone veteran.
“To make a team, you have to be out on the field,” said the coach. “In Chaz’s case, we’ve seen him do that. He played well in the (Green and White scrimmage), he’s played really well at times and in minicamp he’s looked tremendous. He’s had a bunch of those nagging injuries that kind of prevented him from getting as much work as he would like obviously.”
Ryan has praised Schilens’ play – and continued to do so yesterday, adding that he feels “good” about the wide receiver. But it’s not a good sign that the injury-prone wideout hasn’t practiced (or played) since Aug. 4. Schilens – who has dealt with knee and leg injuries in the past – has been slowed this offseason by a groin injury and a high ankle sprain.
The 26-year old had 23 receptions for 271 yards in 14 games (five starts) last season as a member of the Raiders and over his four-year career in Oakland totaled 902 yards – two yards less than Braylon Edwards amassed for the Jets in 2010.
Jets second-year linebacker Ricky Sapp also has been sidelined by a high ankle sprain.
But unlike with Schilens, the Jets haven’t been able to see as much of Sapp on the field as Ryan would like.
“With Ricky it’s unfortunate because before he ever got to really play in any games, in the scrimmage he comes over, gets a sack and then he has the high ankle (sprain),” the coach said. “So that’s really unfortunate.”
Though Ryan has said he likes his roster and will have a difficult time making cuts, he didn’t rule out the Jets bringing in a veteran wideout.
“Number one, I feel pretty good about Chaz. It’s unfortunate it’s an injury,” the coach said. “The way Mike T., and then way we’ll run our organization is, you’ll always do what’s in the best interest of your team. If we can add a kicker to help our team, then you would look at doing that. It’s just as simple as that.
“We have a responsibility – to this organization, to our fan base, to everything else – to always do that. To look at everything and sometimes, we get criticized, ‘Well you’re looking at this guy.’ Well, yeah, we were. We’re going to look at every single player. When 500 guys get cut, or whatever it is, trust me. Mike and his guys will know something about each one of those guys. And if there’s somebody on that list that we feel can help our team, we’ll definitely consider it.”