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Santonio Holmes’ Availability Up in the Air

Posted Oct 3, 2013

While you never want to walk away without that highly coveted “W,” Sunday’s loss in Nashville was particularly painful as two Green & White starting wide receivers left the game with injuries.

On just the second offensive play of the game, second-year man Stephen Hill was hit hard by S Michael Griffin immediately after a Geno Smith interception, sustained a concussion and did not return. Then a few minutes into the fourth quarter, seventh-year wideout Santonio Holmes left the game with a hamstring injury.

“I was just running down the field and my hamstring felt really tight,” he said at a late-afternoon news conference today, “so I just decided I couldn’t run anymore and stopped and walked off the field.”

Four days later, he said, “It hurts.” Asked whether it was a safe assumption that he’d be unable to play this week, he said, “I don’t know right now. It’s up to the trainers at this point.”

Neither Holmes nor Hill participated in practice today, and while neither one has been ruled out for Monday night’s primetime matchup in Atlanta, it’s not looking too promising at the moment.

“You guys figure it out,” head coach Rex Ryan told the media today during his post-practice news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “Looks like they never practiced today.”

This isn’t the first time that an injury has threatened to keep Santonio out of a game this year. After rehabbing a foot injury throughout the offseason, it appeared as though he might not be ready for the regular-season opener vs. Tampa Bay. Yet he’s been able to play in all four games, averaging 24.3 yards per catch on 10 receptions thus far, with the average the highest in the NFL among qualifying receivers.

Holmes doesn’t feel frustrated by the injury-filled year, though. Instead, he’s looking at the situation optimistically as something he has to deal with.

“I’ve made some really good friends in the trainer’s room,” he said with a smile. “The guys are always happy to see me in the morning, so it’s been fun.”

If either receiver is unable to suit up come Monday, WR Clyde Gates could end up on the field for the offense’s first play of the game. It would be just the fourth start of the third-year receiver’s career.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. I want to take full advantage of it, but you know, we want those guys to be able to play because they’re a big part of the offense. They’re down right now, though, so that’s what we’re here for. The other receivers need to step up and make plays.”
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