Muhammad Wilkerson will likely play for the New York Jets on Thursday night, the team’s starting defensive end likely to get some snaps in what will be just his second game of preseason.
Having missed much of training camp and the first two preseason games with a hamstring injury, Wilkerson played parts of the first half in what would be the Jets 28-18 win over the New York Giants this past weekend. But even as the fourth game of preseason is often reserved for depth players and those trying to make the roster, Wilkerson likely will get rolled out against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I’ll be playing, yea, I think I’ll be playing,” Wilkerson told Metro on Monday.
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It comes with a certain amount of risk should head coach Todd Bowles decide to give the nod to his All-Pro defensive end. The fourth game of preseason usually lacks starters let alone stars with coaches not wishing to see their most influential players be injured.
And in Wilkerson, there is certainly a star player; the Jets defensive end has been ranked in each of the past two years among the NFL Network’s Top 100 players. But he needs reps and game situations to be ready for Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.
When asked if he is 100 percent back yet from the hamstring, he admits he isn’t there yet – but he isn’t far away.
“I’m not all the way back yet,” Wilkerson said. “But I’m getting better. Feeling better.”