Dee Milliner is back, and the timing couldn't be better against a Green Bay offense among the best in the league.
After some initial time stretching and warming up while the special teams unit practiced, Milliner did some limited drills with the secondary on Wednesday. It was a promising development as the second-year cornerback hasn't played since the first preseason game with a high ankle sprain.
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The passing defense on Sunday limited Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to 151 yards in his NFL debut with cornerbacks Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen performing well. But the task will be steeper against Aaron Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks in the league, in Week 2.
Head coach Rex Ryan said he's “cautiously optimistic” Milliner will be ready to play against the Packers. Milliner was listed as limited and Ryan said he did “quite a bit” of work with the secondary in practice.
“Again, we're now just scratching the surface. Let's see how he comes back [Thursday] after he did work — first time he's really worked football drills. Let's see how he comes back,” Ryan said. “I don't expect Dee to play 75 snaps on defense [against Green Bay]. We'll see how he progresses. I'm cautiously optimistic he will go. [Thursday] will be a big day for us.”
Milliner also used the word “optimistic” to describe his outlook for Sunday.
“It’s not rust. You just have to get back into it,” Milliner said. “Get back in a rhythm of things, like you said, I haven’t been out there in a while, I have to get back to normal and get back in a rhythm.”
Right guard Willie Colon (calf) was limited in practice Wednesday. Safety Josh Bush (quad) and tight end Jeff Cumberland (personal reasons) were among the more prominent names who did not practice.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.