A defense that held the league’s top total offense from a season ago to just 13 points last Thursday night is likely to get a boost this week with the returns of Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson.
Coples dressed for practice on Monday, signaling an imminent return to the playing field following an ankle injury suffered in the second game of preseason. Coples has not played or practiced since the injury.
“He just had surgery three weeks ago but I know he’s been doing an unbelievable job in his rehab,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “That’d be something if we could get him but I’m not sure how possible that is but we’ll see.”
Coples was a first-round pick of the Jets last year and is transitioning from his hand in the dirt at defensive end to playing standing up outside linebacker. Last Friday in a conference call with the media following their loss to the Patriots, Ryan said of Coples, “Here’s a young man we think can be an outstanding player. It would be great to get him back.”
Coples worked with the training staff in practice and did individual drills but did not work with the team.
In addition, Wilkerson did some jogging on Monday just days after he was helped off the field in the second half of the Patriots game with an apparent right leg injury. He participated fully in practice on Monday with the rest of his teammates.
As for Sunday against the Bills, Wilkerson wouldn’t commit to being able to play but said, “I should be fine.” He said he just felt the normal soreness from the game.
“Just a sprain, stepped on somebody’s foot and rode it,” Wilkerson said. “That’s about it.”
Jets notes ...
There were some Monday roster moves as the Jets signed linebacker Scott Solomon with the roster slot made available by the Jets moving Mark Sanchez to the injured reserve list. Solomon was cut by the Jets last week. In addition, wide receiver Rashaan Vaughn was released from the practice squad in order to sign linebacker Danny Lansanah.
Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, who missed the Patriots game following a concussion in Week 1, was back and practiced with the team Monday.
“When you’re looking at the Kerley situation, obviously he had the concussion,” Ryan said. “There’s a bunch of different hoops he has got to go through, different doctors and all that kind of stuff.”
Rookie cornerback Dee Milliner was benched against the Patriots in the second half in favor of cornerback Darrin Walls. The No. 9 pick in this past April’s NFL Draft, Milliner has struggled in his first two NFL games, perhaps the byproduct of a training camp holdout and injuries that derailed his preseason. Ryan was coy as far as if he has decided if Milliner will lose his starting job for the Bills game.
“No I haven’t [decided],” Ryan said. “I want to let this week play out.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.