Head Coach Bowles, Players Say Club Relieved Defensive Coordinator's Health Is Improving

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Jets’ defense is getting its leader back.

Coach Todd Bowles announced Monday that defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers is returning to work this week after missing the past two games while dealing with an unspecified illness.

“He’s been cleared and he should be ready to go,” Bowles said during a conference call. “We’ll ease him in slowly depending on how he feels, but he’s doing a lot better.”

Bowles added that Rodgers will coach Sunday in the Jets’ game against Minnesota, but said it’s uncertain to know so early in the week if Rodgers will call the defensive plays. Bowles has run the defense the past two weeks, victories over Denver and Indianapolis.

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The 49-year-old Rodgers was at MetLife Stadium on Sunday for the win over the Colts and broke down the team huddle in the locker room after the game.

“He’s a great spirit,” nose tackle Steve McLendon said. “He’s a great coach. For me, it’s always awesome to see a guy come back, especially with all the things that he’s been through in the past few weeks. He gets to come back to the game that he loves. As long as he has health, that’s all that matters.”

Rodgers had a medical appointment on Oct. 4 and was not with the team for practice the following day, when a somber Bowles revealed that Rogers was dealing with what he characterized as a “serious” illness. Rodgers had not been at practice since.

“Any time you get somebody who gets sick on you or has some type of illness, you worry about him wholeheartedly,” Bowles said. “The job doesn’t matter, it’s all about the person, getting healthy. It’s a big relief for us.”

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)