Inexperienced Ijalana And Qvale Still Splitting Snaps At Right Tackle With The Starting Offense

FLORHAM PARK. N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Breno Giacomini insists he’ll be back on the football field at some point. The Jets’ right tackle just isn’t sure when that will be.

Giacomini is still dealing with a lower-back injury that will likely keep him out of the team’s regular-season opener — and perhaps longer.

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“Right now, I’m considered day-to-day,” Giacomini said Thursday, the first time he spoke to reporters since being injured during minicamp in June. “I don’t know when I’ll be back, but I’m progressing.”

Giacomini, entering his third season with the Jets, has not practiced during training camp because of a strain and muscle spasms. He is on the physically unable to perform list and doesn’t appear to be on track to be ready to play in the season opener against Cincinnati on Sept. 11.

“I honestly have no idea,” coach Todd Bowles said when asked if he thought Giacomini would be ready to start the season. “It’s getting close and he’s not practicing yet, so we’ll see.”

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Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale have been splitting snaps at right tackle with the starting offense, but neither has started an NFL game. Bowles acknowledged that the Jets could also explore outside options.

“We’d consider it,” he said. “We’ve talked about it and we’ll continue to talk about it. We’ll see how they (Ijalana and Qvale) come along, and see who we want to add, if we want to add anybody.”

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Giacomini says he’s at about “80 percent speed” and insists he will play this season, but is uncertain when he’ll be completely healthy. He said he was able to get into a three-point stance and do some basic blocking techniques against air during practice Wednesday. He said he did “some more things” on Thursday.

“It’s not where I need to be to be on the field,” Giacomini said.

The 30-year-old lineman said he expected his back to feel better a week or two after he injured it, but the pain increased during the July 4 weekend. Giacomini acknowledged that he has dealt with a “similar” back issue during his career, but it wasn’t as “intense” as his current ailment.

He didn’t go into details about how it has been treated, declining to say whether he has received any injections. Giacomini did acknowledge that the injury is not a disk-related issue.

“Every day we’re taking a step forward,” he said. “No steps back, so that’s a good thing.”

When asked if he could start the season on PUP, meaning he would have to miss at least the first six games of the season, Giacomini shrugged.

“Is it a possibility?” he said. “Probably. It’s something I don’t want, but that’s something I can’t control.”

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