CORTLAND -- The Jets wide receiver corps took another hit Thursday when Jordan White experienced swelling in his knee, according to Rex Ryan.
During the Wildcat-portion of practice, White was spotted across the field, lying on his back, as head trainer John Mellody checked out his legs.
The Jets already are without top receiver Santonio Holmes (rib, back), Chaz Schilens (ankle) and Jeremy Kerley (hamstring). And as of now, Rex Ryan said he isn’t sure if White will be able to play in Saturday’s preseason home opener against the Giants.
“I was feeling good about him and then his knee swells up so,” said the coach, who has raved about the rookie since his return to the practice field. “You know, that group over there is a M*A*S*H unit. There’s no doubt.”
White, unfortunately, has been sidelined for much of the offseason. The Western Michigan product broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during the Jets’ first OTA (May 21) and had surgery two days later. He was given a two-month timetable for his return – and he’s impressed the coaching staff ever since he was activated off the PUP list July 30.
White, the Jets’ final selection in this year’s draft (seventh round, 244th overall), rebounded from two ACL injuries in 2006 and 2008 – which he termed “freak accidents” that occured during practice blocking drills – to set a single-game record for receiving yards (265) in college. White had 140 receptions for 1,911 yards his senior year.
QB Mark Sanchez understands it's important for guys to be healthy, but he also stressed the importance of having his No. 1 weapon on the field: Holmes.
"We need to get reps together," the quarterback said. "Obviously, his health is most important, but at the same time we’re in a race against time here and this Buffalo game (Sept. 9) is creeping up on us. It’s getting closer and closer, so the more we can get out of Tone, the better.
"All reports have said he’s working hard and trying to get back as soon as possible. That’s not an easy injury, but it’s important for those other guys to elevate their games and pick up the slack. We have to go with what we have."
After two straight days of fielding punts, Kerley spent most of today’s practice on the stationary bike. He was on the field for special teams drills, but was forced to watch because his slightly-torn hamstring was very sore. The slot receiver said unconvincingly that he would be a game-time decision against the Giants, but Ryan later ruled out Kerley, along with Schilens and S Eric Smith (MCL sprain).
Holmes and NT Sione Po’uha (back) are also out, but Ryan believes RT Wayne Hunter (back) will be able to play.