When the Jets took the field at Tennessee on Monday night, wide receiver Braylon Edwards was back in uniform with his former squad.
Edwards, who played with the Jets from 2009-10, was reacquired off waivers after Seattle released him a week ago.
It was uncertain how much he could play due to a hamstring injury he encountered back on Dec. 2. However, No. 17 actually got the start and finished his first game back with the Green & White with three catches for 47 yards.
"Coach Sanjay Lal did a great job of protecting the hamstring," Edwards said of his WRs coach following the Jets' 14-10 loss. "He was thinking of the hamstring, thinking what plays would be good for the hamstring, what plays wouldn't be good, and I think the hamstring surprised him and the coaches. I think it was better than they thought it was going to be and we probably could have taken more chances, but just to be smart, I think they did a great job."
On the second play of the Jets' opening drive, Mark Sanchez attempted to hit his familiar target over the middle but just missed. Four plays later, on third-and-6, Sanchez connected with Edwards for a 14-yard gain and a first down. Later in the same drive, he threw another ball to Edwards on a play in which CB Alterraun Verner was whistled for pass interference, which moved the Jets up 9 yards to the Titans 14.
"It felt good," Edwards said of his production. "The couple of catches I did have, I felt that Mark threw those on time and he was comfortable with the throw. I think that's something we can definitely build upon."
Edwards said taking limited reps in practice last week allowed him to make it onto the game field Monday.
"Going into this game, two weeks ago, I never thought I would be 75 percent, let alone play at about 82 or 83," he said. "I felt a lot better."
"I knew he'd compete hard," Ryan said of Edwards, one of six WRs he had active for the game. "Obviously that's what he does. I know he's not 100 percent, but I thought Braylon played hard and that's who he is."
The Jets offense isn't as effective as it was during Edwards' first stint with the team. Standout playmakers such as LaDainian Tomlinson and Jerricho Cotchery are no longer around, WR Santonio Holmes has been out since Week 4 when he suffered a season-ending foot injury. New faces have been coming in and out more than one could imagine.
"We just need to play with more of a sense of urgency," Edwards said of the offensive. "I've only been here less than a week, so I don't want to try and pick fights or anything like that. That's not my goal, to make controversial statements. I just think we need a sense of urgency. There were definitely a lot of chances out there for us to capitalize. Our defense, they held well for us and they put us in positions to make plays, and when given that position, we didn't make those plays for whatever reason."
Sanchez threw a season-high four interceptions Monday and now has 50 turnovers in his last 30 games, leading NFL players in that span. Edwards sees his quarterback as the same individual he's grown accustomed to, but would like to see Sanchez trust himself more.
"I feel like there are times when he can make throws and he may second-guess himself for a split second, and that split second turns into an overthrow or a short throw or a knockdown or an interception," Edwards said. "So I think he has to trust who he is, which is a good quarterback. He knows the offense. He knows the system. He knows the stuff that he's doing."
While the Green & White's playoff dreams disappeared with the loss in Nashville, the one thing Jets Nation could smile about was getting to see No. 17 once again on their side.
"It felt good to be back and it felt good to be in the right colors and to make some plays," Edwards said. "I felt like there were more plays to be made out there. And in gaining more knowledge of the offense and getting the hamstring better, I definitely think I'll be seeing some more playing time and more plays."