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Quinton Coples, Jeremy Kerley on the Mend

Posted Sep 18, 2013

The perfect Rx for the Jets this week is a dose of Vitamin Q for the defense and a JK injection for the offense and special teams.

"I think we're healthy as a football team," head coach Rex Ryan said at today's news conference as the buildup for Sunday's home game against the Bills began, "and I'm excited about that."

Quinton Coples seems fairly upbeat also, although the Jets outside LB who's been sidelined since suffering a surgical ankle injury in Week 2 of the preseason, is turning his playing time over to higher authorities.

"I feel good," Coples said at his Atlantic Health Training Center locker after practice, at which he was listed as a limited participant. "I don't know the exact number as far as reps, but I was the starter on a few plays today."

And Coples told me he's not worried at all about the mental game of football, even though he's been at this OLB thing only for this offseason and preseason before taking a rest.

"The first two weeks we didn't do too much as far as adding a whole lot of stuff," he said. "We definitely had some new calls and things I had to pick up. But overall I think things are still pretty much the same, smooth, and I still have a lot of time to catch up."

So Q, are you ready to play already?

"It's a coach's decision," he said. "I'm going to leave it up to the trainers and the coaches and whatever they tell me, I'll be ready for."

Ryan was playing Coples' availability close to the vest as far as his return to our powerful early defense (2nd in the NFL in total yards allowed, tied for 4th vs. the run, 6th vs. the pass, 1st in first downs, 5th in third-down efficiency, tied for 3rd in points allowed).

"First off, it's hard to imagine this guy would play three weeks after he had surgery," Rex said. "But the fact that he's out there, that's great. Would he be fulltime [Sunday]? I wouldn't think so, but man, that's impressive that this kid was out there today, even in a limited capacity."

Ryan also had good news regarding Jeremy Kerley, his big-play slot man and punt returner who suffered a concussion in the opener against Tampa Bay and sat out New England.

"Jeremy wasn't out there when you guys were there," the coach told reporters regarding their window to watch the first half-hour of practice. "But he practiced full and he's been cleared medically. That's good news."

Our injury report, which averaged 21.0 players for each of the first six reports this season, is down to 15 listed players today, with only RB Bilal Powell not participating, and that due more to illness than to his shoulder injury before the Patriots game. Increasing good health is always a favorable omen as we head into the first of our home-and-home encounters with the Bills.

Buffalo is listing six players on its initial report of the week, with S Jairus Byrd (foot) limited and rookie K Dustin Hopkins (groin) DNP, necessitating the signing of Dan Carpenter, the ex-Dolphins kicker who was with the Jets for a week and so has now been on the rosters of three of the four AFC East teams in the span of about a month. The Jets' full Wednesday injury report can be found here.

Scoring Change

Leger Douzable was pleased to accept congratulations for his second career sack and his first in two seasons — and of Tom Brady, no less.

However, the Elias Sports Bureau today changed the scoring of that play, and now LB Garrett McIntyre is the happy beneficiary of one full sack.

"Tom's not an easy quarterback to sack. He's going to be a Hall of Famer," McIntyre said. "That's a good notch to have on your belt."

Mac drove LG Logan Mankins back into the pocket off the Brady play action and could've gotten two sacks on the play, if guards were sackable. He hit Brady high while Douzable sure appeared to have TB by the ankles for at least a half-sack. But Elias has spoken and McIntyre now has 4.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

A few more would be nice to whip on Buffalo's EJ Manuel, as Ryan observed when asked if his eyes light up when going against a rookie signalcaller.

"Maybe a little bit, because I know he doesn't have any experience," Ryan said. "Now Chad Henne didn't have any, either, and he looked like Dan Marino against us that one year [2009]. We've still got to go out and execute and things. But yeah, I'd much rather face a rookie QB than Tom Brady."
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