Jeremy Kerley still leads the team in receptions and receiving yards despite missing almost a month. Credit: Getty Images
There are no excuses now.
The league's worst passing offense will get some serious help this week with the return of wide receivers Santonio Holmes (hamstring, foot) and Jeremy Kerley (elbow) along with tight end Kellen Winslow (knee). Head coach Rex Ryan said all three were sharp in Thursday's practice, which he claimed was another good session for the offense.
Holmes played just three snaps last Sunday and Kerley was inactive for this past Sunday's loss to the Dolphins. Ryan sees their return as a major lift for an offense that managed just two first downs in the first half of their last game.
Kerley leads the team with 28 receptions for 347 yards and two touchdowns.
“I think it's going to help us. I don't think there's any doubt about that. ... With a healthy Holmes, Kerley and Winslow, that's a big help for us,” Ryan said. “I think Kerley has been outstanding as a slot receiver this season for us. Obviously getting Holmes back and healthier will be a big help for us.”
Holmes was active last Sunday but played just three snaps. Why he took a valuable roster spot to barely play is puzzling, especially since the Jets could have activated veteran quarterback David Garrard in his place. The Jets worked him out before the game at which point they decided to activate him.
He wasn't targeted once in his three snaps.
Holmes said the hamstring tweak happened last week in practice. When he spoke to the media on Wednesday, he wasn't willing to commit to more playing this Sunday against the Raiders.
“We’ll take it one day at a time. We’re not going to worry about Sunday until Sunday gets here,” Holmes said. “I can’t push the days ahead, so we’ll take it one day at a time.”
Even with limited play this year, Holmes leads the team with 25 yards per catch. Ryan said he is monitored closely so that another incident like Sunday doesn't become an issue.
But he will be used more than Sunday's head-scratcher.
“There's always that fine line. How much do you push him? But he's been able to push through practice, unlike last week,” Ryan said. “I think we feel better about it. Will he be limited? Will he play every snap? I doubt it. Obviously he'll play more than three plays. He'll be ready to go. It doesn't look like he's hobbled at all when he's out there. Now, he is limited play number-wise but he looks good and explosive.”