Jets wide receiver Eric Decker was pulled from practice on Thursday as a nagging hamstring from training camp continues to be problematic for the team’s lead receiver.
Decker leads the Jets with 14 catches, 204 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His presence on the field as a good route runner has been a welcome addition to a receiving corps that lacked a big-name target last year.
He was taken off the field Thursday as his hamstring injury flared up again. He missed a good part of the second half loss at the Packers two weeks ago and played sparingly in the Week 3 loss to the Bears.
Head coach Rex Ryan said “[the hamstring] never felt right” for Decker.
“If it’s tight, if he feels tight, then we’re not going to push him,” Ryan said. “Hopefully he will play Sunday.”
There’s no concern, Ryan said, that playing on Sunday would set Decker back or that resting his wide receiver would help the injury heal.
“I understand where you’re coming with that but if he thinks he is well enough to play, our trainers think he is well enough to play, even in a limited role, you want your best players out there,” Ryan said.
There is good news for the Jets’ other injured wide receiver. David Nelson, who suffered a sprain to his left ankle in Sunday’s loss to the Lions, had his left ankle wrapped on Thursday and while he didn’t practice, he sounded optimistic about playing Sunday.
“If it progresses tomorrow, then I think we’ll have a better understanding. I think we’ll know a greater deal,” Nelson said. “You’d like to know by Friday — a yes or no. Obviously a game-time decision is tough, puts the offense in a difficult position because you don’t know who is going to be out there. We’d like to know [Friday]. I think we’ve given a deadline [Friday] of if it feels good, see if we can push it a little bit. I’m hopeful. It felt good [Thursday]. Let’s see what we can do.”
Nelson said he will travel with the Jets, who leave for San Diego on Friday afternoon.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.