More than 11 months after he suffered a Lisfranc injury that cost him the season, Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes was back on the field for the first time. In limited snaps, Holmes had one reception for 13 yards in the Jets’ 18-17 win on Sunday afternoon.
Holmes, who missed the remainder of last year and the entirety of preseason as he recovered and then rehabbed from the foot surgery, has had remarkable progress over the past three weeks to even get on the field. During minicamp in June and the first three weeks of training camp, Holmes was limited to riding the exercise bicycle.
His first and only catch of the game came on the last play of the first quarter when he made a 13-yard catch for a first down against former Jets corner Darrelle Revis. When asked by Metro, Holmes said there wasn’t any personal emotion to this game or his return to the field.
“The only thing that matters was the win and the performance of our guys — how hard they played, our resiliency,” Holmes said. “They didn’t give in towards the end. We continued to pull it out and Folk on the field goal really made a difference for our team.”
While he wasn’t as explosive as his old self, Holmes was a welcome boost to a receiving corps that lacks true playmakers. But it was on the ground via their quarterback that the Jets pulled out the game’s biggest play.
Down 17-15 with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the ball on their own 45-yard line, Jets quarterback Geno Smith escaped from the pocket and ran to the far sideline to pick up a few yards. As he went out of bounds, Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David gave him a push and the resulting personal foul put the Jets into field-goal range.
When Holmes saw that, he had no doubt the outcome of the game. Nick Folk made the 48-yard field goal for the win with a boost from Holmes on the sideline.
“I knew they lost the game. I knew they gave it up to us at that moment and on the sideline I said a quick prayer for God to be with us at this time,” Holmes said. “And he definitely came through for us.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.