Jeff Otah remains mystery for Jets

Jeff Otah.
GEORGE GOJKOVICH/GETTY IMAGES

On Thursday morning, recently acquired right tackle Jeff Otah failed a conditioning test at the team’s facility in New Jersey, meaning that the player has been placed on the active-physically unable to perform list. He will have seven days to pass his physical or else the deal that sent him from Carolina to New York can be nullified.

Otah has been limited much of the last two seasons with knee injuries, including the entirety of the 2010 campaign. Acquired in a trade last week that sent an undisclosed pick to the Panthers, he was seen as competition for embattled right tackle Wayne Hunter, who struggled last year. Instead, Otah spent the first day of Jets training camp doing fitness work and stretching instead of battling Hunter for the starting job.

“I’m feeling all right, doing some shuffling, moving my feet,” Otah told Metro New York. “Did some work out there; getting some work in there.”

The results of the Thursday’s conditioning test weren’t specific, but Otah didn’t seem terribly surprised that he didn’t pass.

“I don’t know what they expected of me. I went out there and did what I could. That’s all I can do,” Otah said. “I just heard I didn’t pass it. No reason was given.”

There is no timetable for a return to the field, even with just six days to pass the physical. He will continue to rehab and strengthen the injured knee while being held out of practice.

Last week, his old team gave him a heads up that a trade was in the works and that the Jets were interested in making a move for him. Otah said he has had conversations with head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano about what his role might be.

“They let me know that they liked me and what I could do in terms of the run game. They want me to get healthy and get on the field,” Otah said. “They didn’t really discuss too much of coming in and starting or coming in and doing anything.”


Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter
@KristianRDyer for live pictures and updates from training camp in Cortland.


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