FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Quinton Coples is back — much sooner than many expected.
The New York Jets outside linebacker will make his regular-season debut Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, a month after having surgery on his fractured right ankle. Coples was listed as probable on the team’s injury report Friday.
“That’s probably a story in itself,” coach Rex Ryan said. “A young man that’s coming off surgery, what, three or four weeks ago? I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but he’s done it.
“We’ll see what he can do.”
Coples hurt his ankle during the team’s second preseason game against Jacksonville on Aug. 17 and had surgery to repair a hairline fracture three days later. He was originally listed as being out indefinitely, with many wondering whether Coples would even practice before the midway point of the season.
But he practiced for the first time Wednesday, and the ankle responded well this week.
“Is he going to play every snap? No, he’s not going to play every snap,” Ryan said. “I don’t anticipate that, but if he couldn’t run out there and take care of himself and be at or near 100 percent, then he wouldn’t be out there.
“We feel probable that he’s going to play. In other words, he’s playing.”
Coples, who led the team as a rookie last season with 5½ sacks and recorded 30 tackles, is expected to bounce between playing outside linebacker and defensive end in Ryan’s defense this season. He’ll provide a boost to a unit that has played well even without him through the first two games, ranking second in the league in overall defense.
The only player listed as out for the Jets is rookie offensive tackle Oday Aboushi, who Ryan said dislocated a knee in practice Thursday but doesn’t think it’s a serious injury.
Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, medically cleared after suffering a concussion in the season opener, is probable and will play. Also among those probable are: cornerback Antonio Cromartie (hip), defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis (back), wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot), tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. (knee), and defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson (shoulder) and Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle).
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