FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tone Time is back for the New York Jets.
Santonio Holmes will play at Buffalo against the Bills on Sunday after the wide receiver missed five games with a hamstring injury.
Holmes was listed as probable on the team’s injury report Friday despite being limited at practice, as he has all week. He was injured at Tennessee in Week 4, just as he and Smith were trying to develop an on-field rapport.
Coach Rex Ryan was unsure how many snaps Holmes will play against the Bills to avoid reinjuring the hamstring. But, he could still play a major role, especially with fellow receiver Jeremy Kerley officially ruled out with a dislocated elbow.
“Will he be on a pitch count? I don’t know,” Ryan said. “I think we’ll be smart about that. We’re not going to put him out there for 80 snaps. But, does he look good to me? Absolutely, he looks good.”
On Wednesday, Holmes was cautiously optimistic about playing this weekend, but was excited about his prospects. He has 10 catches for 243 yards and a touchdown in four games, including a career-best 154 yards receiving against Buffalo in Week 3.
During training camp, Holmes was still rehabilitating from a serious foot injury that caused him to miss most of last season, so he and Smith have had very little time together to get in sync.
“I missed a lot of time during the summer where I had a major opportunity to get to know him and (for him to get) a feel for how I run routes and the things that I can do on the field,” Holmes said. “To not have those opportunities present themselves throughout this year really throws off the chemistry between a quarterback and the receiver.
“You really need as much time as you can and understanding among each other so things can go right on the field.”
For the Jets, who made a big splash Thursday by signing safety Ed Reed, getting Holmes back after such a long absence could also be looked at almost as a midseason acquisition.
“I think it’s better than that because he already knows the offense,” Ryan said. “If you just pick up a guy and he’s not familiar with it, you might get a shot in the arm from somebody’s athletic ability and talent. But Holmes knows it, he’s been involved, he’s been involved in the meetings and everything else.”
Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., will also return from a four-game suspension, giving Smith yet another target the offense had been missing. Winslow was leading the team with 17 receptions at the time he was suspended by the NFL for violating its performance-enhancing substance policy.
Fellow tight Jeff Cumberland is probable after missing the team’s last game against New Orleans with a concussion.
Outside linebacker Garrett McIntyre is out with a knee injury. Defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis was limited Friday with a back ailment, but is probable.
Reed, who was cut by Houston on Tuesday, will definitely play against the Bills after quickly picking up the Jets’ defense — as expected. Other than Ryan’s fondness for Reed from their days together in Baltimore, the nine-time Pro Bowl safety is well-versed and comfortable in the defense that Ryan and coordinator Dennis Thurman run in New York.
“He’ll be ready to roll,” Ryan said.
Antonio Allen has started seven of the nine games at safety opposite veteran Dawan Landry, and it’s likely that will be the case again at Buffalo. Having Reed in the mix, however, will give Ryan and Thurman the flexibility to do more things in the secondary.
Allen has been solid, as has Jaiquawn Jarrett, but the Jets have struggled against the pass at times, ranking 24th in the league in that category. Perhaps on third-down passing plays, the ball-hawking Reed’s presence will help guard against that threat, and his role could potentially expand beyond that.
“We definitely have a plan for Ed,” Ryan said. “But, can we alter it? Absolutely. We’ll see what happens. During the course of the game, if there’s things where we think that he’d give us our best opportunity, then we’ll definitely look at that.”
NOTES: WR David Nelson is playing at Buffalo for the first time since the Bills opted to not re-sign him as a restricted free agent in the offseason. He said he’s out to prove the Bills made a mistake, and added that he and some of his former teammates, including safety Aaron Williams, have been razzing each other through texts and Twitter messages all week. “There’s not a whole lot of, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ It’s more of, ‘Hey, don’t come across the middle this Sunday.’ It’s all fun and I’m looking forward to it.” … Ryan on the fact the Jets haven’t won consecutive games this season and are 1-3 on the road: “We have to be able to win on the road. If we’re going to do anything, we have to do that.”
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