Braylon Edwards will be back on the field for the New York Jets on Monday night.
How much the recently re-acquired wide receiver plays against the Tennessee Titans is the big question.
Edwards was listed Saturday as questionable after being limited all week with a hamstring issue, but coach Rex Ryan is expecting to see him out there in a game the Jets (6-7) must win in order to stay in playoff contention.
”I’m optimistic he’ll be ready for Monday night,” Ryan said during a conference call Saturday.
Edwards was claimed off waivers from Seattle on Tuesday, reuniting with the team he helped lead to the AFC title game in 2009 and 2010. Edwards was released Monday from the Seahawks’ injury-reserve list after less than one unproductive season in Seattle. He had just eight catches for 74 yards and a touchdown in 10 games after signing a one-year deal in July.
”We’re not going to put specific play numbers on him, or whatever,” Ryan said. ”We’ll just see how he progresses. Right now, I feel like he’s getting better each day. So again, I think Monday night, he’ll definitely get to play. We’ll see how much. That’s kind of how I feel about it. I believe he will play.”
Quarterback Tim Tebow, healing from two broken ribs, was a full participant for the third straight day and will be Mark Sanchez’s backup against the Titans.
”I feel good about him,” Ryan said. ”I think he practiced well again today, so he looks good and he’ll be ready to go on Monday.”
And that could mean in multiple roles – potentially in the wildcat-style offense and perhaps on special teams as the punt protector – as he played this season before the injury. On Thursday, Ryan nixed the idea of Tebow playing in any role other than as the backup quarterback in the conventional offense, before completely changing his stance Friday – possibly in a show of gamesmanship to throw off the Titans.
”I hope so,” Tebow said Friday when asked if he thought he’d play. ”I hope to get an opportunity.”
Tight end Dustin Keller (ankle), wide receiver Stephen Hill (knee), linebacker Bryan Thomas (pectoral) and defensive back Aaron Berry (hamstring) are all doubtful and likely will not play. Edwards’ arrival will help offset the absence of Hill, while Keller will likely be replaced by Jeff Cumberland in the starting lineup.
Keller, a free agent after this season, hasn’t played since spraining his left ankle against Arizona on Dec. 2.
Nose tackle Sione Po’uha (lower back) and wide receiver Clyde Gates (concussion) were limited and listed as questionable. Gates hasn’t played since Thanksgiving night against New England, but Ryan thought it was a positive sign that the speedy receiver was able to get on the field Saturday for the first time since being injured.
”It looks like he’s running well, so that’s encouraging,” Ryan said. ”Obviously, you’d like to have him up with the kind of speed and athleticism he has, but we’ll see. ”He has one more (concussion) test before the next step.”