Santonio Holmes gave a "State of the Foot" address today, saying simply and indefinitely, "I'm getting better, man, I'm getting better. That's all I can say at this point."
Holmes, the Jets' veteran wide receiver who has been rehabbing that left foot since suffering that devastating Lisfranc injury in Game 4 against San Francisco last season, could not answer how many days of practice he'd need to be ready to play in any game. And asked if he could be ready for the season opener against Tampa Bay on Sept. 8, he replied:
"I can't really count that far ahead right now. I've got to go with the steps that are in front of me, which are getting better today and looking forward to tomorrow."
"I'm still week to week," he said of his timetable. "I'd say day to day, but the trainers are saying week to week and continue to progress so we can just be ready when the time comes."
Holmes continues to work during training camp practices at SUNY Cortland, but always on the sideline, walking with a ball always cradled in one arm or the other, or else going through drills with head trainer John Mellody and his staff.
"Right now I can't run," he said. "I continue to take it day by day and do the necessary things to get better. My rehab the majority of camp is to ride a bike, continue icing the foot and keeping the leg up."
Holmes had no comment about a story suggesting that some in the Jets organization have questioned his rehab, but head coach Rex Ryan clearly has no doubts about the quality and focus of his wideout's rehab work.
"He's doing everything we've asked him to do. He's pushing it," Ryan said at today's news conference. "We certainly wanted Tone to be available. To say we typed him in as a starter [on opening day], we knew he was overcoming a major injury, we certainly knew that. We're also encouraged that he came back to our building and has been working like crazy. He's in phenomenal shape. I'm encouraged by the progress he's making."
Until Santonio Holmes is ready to put on the pads and catch, run and hit again, he'll keep to his rehab schedule. But he'll also keep an eye on the Jets' offensive players experiencing their progress and growing pains as they continue to learn coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast offense.
How much does the Jets offense need No. 10 on the field?
"I can't really say because they're making great progress with the young guys that are here," he said. "I know [Jeremy] Kerley has definitely stepped up into a big role, Stephen Hill is making significant progress, and we're going to continue fitting all the right guys into the right spots in this new offense."
And that process also helps Holmes get in his mental reps with Mornhinweg's scheme.
"I think it just keeps me on my toes, understanding the little things I can't do," he said, "and watching the mistakes these guys are making and correcting them and writing them down for myself so I don't have these setbacks in route-running and understanding what to do at the tops of the routes."
So that's the state of Tone. Perhaps the most optimistic thing he said at his news conference under the interview tent following practice today was that he feels he is making progress.
"Definitely, definitely," he said. "And that's all I can continue to do is get better each day and go through the necessary steps to get back where I need to be."