Antonio Cromartie may be ready to return against Miami

Antonio Cromartie
Antonio Cromartie has struggled in 2013 after a standout season in 2012, replacing an injured Darrelle Revis.
Credit: Getty Images

Antonio Cromartie was limited in practice on Friday after sitting out entirely earlier in the week, a sign the Jets cornerback may be ready to play after all this Sunday against the Dolphins. That may or may not be a good thing for the Jets.

Cromartie left last Sunday’s 19-3 loss at the Ravens with a hip injury that was aggravated late in the game, causing him to head from the sidelines straight to the Jets’ locker room. He had been victimized earlier in the game when Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco connected with Torrey Smith over the top, beating Cromartie stride for stride on a 60-yard completion. He did rebound with an interception in the second quarter.

Cromartie, a Pro Bowl selection last season, was limited in Friday’s practice which makes him listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

“Feeling a lot better with the rest and the treatment and everything I’ve been doing during the week,” Cromartie said Friday. “It felt good. So like I said, we’ll see how it goes Sunday before the game and we’ll go from there.”

The hip injury has been a source of struggle for Cromartie much of this year and has limited his impact on the field. From the start of the season, he has struggled in coverage and hasn’t been able to play as physically on the line, a mandatory requirement for cornerbacks in head coach Rex Ryan’s 3-4 scheme.

He said this week is the best he’s felt in a long time. The Jets face two elite wide receivers in Mike Wallace and Ben Hartline this week.

If he plays, Wallace will likely be his assignment.

“I’ve been covering speedsters all year, so like I said, this is the first time I’m actually feeling like I did last year. Coming into this week, I’ve been running around and it’s just feeling a certain way. Like I said, running around [this week] I haven’t had any pain, I haven’t had any tightness, so I think coming into this week, for me, it just happened at the right time,” Cromartie said. “Got a chance to rest up a little bit, do a lot more treatment and just understand what we need to try and do. I’m not worried about going up against another speedster when that’s what I’ve been doing the whole entire year.”

If he’s healthy, he can help limit the Dolphins passing attack. If not, they will go with first-round pick Dee Milliner, Darrin Walls and Kyle Wilson rather than trot out a banged up Cromartie.

“It just restricts me from being explosive. I can’t open up my stride as much as I’ve wanted to. But, it’s just something that I try to deal with, with myself, and go through the treatments and just try to get myself better from that way. But, today just running around, I felt more explosive,” Cromartie said. “I just felt more comfortable with it today than I have since I reinjured it back in really Week 2 of the preseason. So, it’s a point of just getting ready and just making sure I’m mentally ready if I’m going to play, and from a physical standpoint I think I’ll be fine.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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