Marcus Maye wasn’t quite full throttle Sunday, but he was able to pick up the pace for the first time in training camp. The third-year safety, who started camp the on active/physically unable to perform list, had the designation removed and he replaced his bucket hat for a helmet.
“I’m just glad he can’t bother me about it anymore. He’s been begging to beck out there,” said head coach Adam Gase. “We were trying to be smart. By putting him out there, we didn’t want to be wrong. If we were a little cautious, then that was fine. We were all in agreement that we were going to make sure he was in a good spot.”
Maye, who was suffering nerve damage in his surgically repaired shoulder, was held out of team drills. But he did participate in the individual period with the defensive backs and also had a few reps in 7-on-7 work and 1-on-1s.
“It felt great,” he told reporters. “It’s been a long process but just getting back out there and running around, getting a feel for things, being out there with the guys — it definitely feels good to be back.”
The 6’0”, 207-pound Maye was limited to just six games last season due to thumb and shoulder ailments. He also was held out of the team drills throughout OTAs and the club’s two spring minicamps.
“You just have to put your head down and go to work every day, just keep the same mindset, knowing it’s going to get better and knowing the time is coming,” he said. “But it’s here now, so we’re good.”
The Jets don’t plan on rushing Maye back into the lineup. Rontez Miles has worked with the first-team defense alongside Jamal Adams throughout camp and that was again the case as the Jets returned to practice following a day off.
“We’re doing 7-on-7 right now. There’s just going to be a progression,” Gase said. “He’s doing some things where he’s hitting some sleds, just trying to make sure he feels right. It’s good to see him out there though. He’s a really good player and with him and thirty-three out there together, I feel pretty good.”
The 26-year-old Maye has remained upbeat despite the delays along the way. He took a step today and knows there is plenty of catching up ahead on the road back.
“I always had a positive mindset about it. Like I said, there was nothing that I could do so there was nothing to get down, nothing to get upset about, go in the tank,” he said. “Just work hard, just continue to do what you do every day and let the process take care of itself.”
A second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, a healthy Maye would provide defensive coordinator Greg Williams another valuable weapon.
“You can ask me to do anything and I feel like I can get it done,” Maye said. “He requires a lot for a safety, so me just being out there and running around within the defense is definitely going to be good.”
See the Best Images from Sunday's Practice at Jets Camp