An already-strong defense continues to build on the good news from Monday when Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson returned to the practice field. Both players did more in practice on Wednesday, a positive step ahead of Sunday’s game against the Bills.
Coples showed progress on Wednesday, including participation in drills. Wilkerson, who limped off in the second half of Thursday’s 13-10 loss at the Patriots, fully participated on Wednesday. The return of Coples and Wilkerson, both from ankle injuries, is welcome news considering their upcoming opponent.
This is, after all, a Bills offensive line that has allowed just one sack this season — tied for second-best in the league. Coples could feature in a limited number of snaps for the game.
“Taking it day-by-day. The trainers and coaches tell me to go out there and try it out. So far, so good,” Coples said. “It feels good. I’m just taking it one step at a time, doing what they ask me to do and move forward from there.”
When asked by Metro, the second-year defensive end/linebacker was noncommittal on if he can play this Sunday. He called it a “coaches/trainers decision.”
Coples and Wilkerson return to a front seven that is among the best in the league — tied for third-best with nine sacks in two games.
In addition, wide receiver Jeremy Kerley was on the field and not in his red no-contact jersey after he suffered a concussion in Week 1 against the Buccaneers. Kerley worked with the training staff for the early portion of practice and went on do to more work.
He did not play last week against the Patriots.
“He practiced full, so he’s been cleared medically. He was out there full today so that’s good news,” head coach Rex Ryan said.
Kerley told Metro that he was fine in practice today and as far as Sunday that “I’ll be ready.”
Jets notes ...
» First-round pick Sheldon Richardson was limited in practice on Wednesday with a shoulder injury, but Ryan praised the defensive end for being out there and practicing, calling him a “tough hombre.” Richardson would not say which shoulder was hurt.
“It’s fine,” Richardson told Metro. “It’s a stinger.”
» With two starts under his belt, the first two starts of his NFL career, Vlad Ducasse is making the transition to right guard and doing well. The fourth-year offensive lineman, who has flip-flopped between both tackle positions, blocking tight end and now both guard positions, did well against Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork last week.
“I thought he did a good job,” Ryan said. “I thought he was physical.”
» Cornerback Dee Milliner has struggled in his first two games, with the No. 9 overall pick showing understandable rust. He was a training camp holdout and injuries shelved him for good chunks of preseason. Against the Patriots, he was benched in favor of Darrin Walls.
“Dee’s going to be in there,” Ryan said. “It’s not like Dee is sitting there riding the pine or whatever.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.