It may not matter what receivers line up for Tom Brady each week, but it surely does for Mark Sanchez and the Jets.

The team received a boost yesterday with Jerricho Cotchery taking an extended role in practice for the first time in more than two weeks. Cotchery, in his seventh year with the Jets and the team’s most veteran wide receiver, has missed the last two games after suffering a slight groin tear in the Week 10 win at Cleveland.

“I’m doing well, feeling better, continuing to make progress,” Cotchery said. “Today was a good day for me, a big step.”

Pain isn’t the major factor with this injury, rather his ability to make cuts and lateral movements.

“That’s the biggest issue, the lateral movement,” Cotchery said. “As a wide receiver, I need to be able to make those cuts and move side to side. If I can’t do that well, then I’m really not able to play.”

The?Jets hope he’ll be ready for Monday’s game against New England in which the winner takes over first place in the AFC East. Cotchery has scored a touchdown in five of his last six games at Foxborough. Sanchez could certainly use him after throwing for just 166 yards against a depleted Bengals’ secondary last week.