FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — If it were up to Dee Milliner, he would be manning his usual spot in the New York Jets’ secondary in the season opener.
His left ankle, though, might keep him on the sideline.
Milliner sat out practice Wednesday as he recovers from a high ankle sprain, and it’s uncertain whether the Jets’ top cornerback will be able to play against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
“I’ve still got a little bit (of pain) there,” Milliner said, “but not like it was.”
Milliner injured his left ankle on Aug. 10, and hasn’t practiced since.
“I’ll leave it in the hands of the people that know what they’re doing,” he said. “Of course, me, I’d just say put me out there.”
Milliner appears to be walking without any sign of a limp. He worked with trainers on the side during practice and did straight-ahead running, but hasn’t done any cutting.
“I never want to rule a guy out, but let’s hope he practices soon,” coach Rex Ryan said. “He’s been away for a little while. I’d like to see him practice, obviously, but I’m not going to say he for sure will not play until we get further along (this week). I know he’s pushing hard, but the fact that he’s not even limited is a little bit of a concern.”
Career backup Darrin Walls would likely start in Milliner’s place if he can’t go, opposite safety-turned-cornerback Antonio Allen. Milliner has been talking to Allen frequently, trying to share the tricks of the trade at cornerback while he has been sidelined.
“I’ll still be out there watching practice, so I know the calls and everything,” Milliner said. “Every time I can help him, I do that. We always watch film together.”
Allen was cleared earlier this week to fully participate in practice after suffering a concussion in a preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 22.
Backup safety Josh Bush (quadriceps) and rookie linebacker Ikemefuna Enemkpali (foot) did not practice Wednesday. Linebacker Nick Bellore (calf) was limited.
Despite questions in the secondary, Ryan is hoping his defense will rattle Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr.
“It’s safe to say that he is going to see things that he hasn’t seen,” Ryan said.
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