Eric Decker might be able to play without practicing — as long as his hamstring lets him.
The New York Jets wide receiver sat out Thursday, leaving his status uncertain for the team’s game against the Chicago Bears on Monday night. Decker is dealing with tightness in his right hamstring after he aggravated an injury from training camp in the Jets’ loss to the Packers on Sunday.
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While coach Rex Ryan would prefer to see Decker practice before the game, not doing so wouldn’t prevent the Jets’ top receiver from playing against the Bears.
”He’s a veteran player and things, but obviously you would like to have him test it a little bit,” Ryan said. ”I’m not going to just say he has to be out on Saturday, but that is what you would like. You would like to see him do some things, really for his own mentality, for his own mindset that, `Yeah, I can do this, I feel fine.”’
Top cornerback Dee Milliner was limited at practice, and Ryan said he looked ”OK” as he recovers from a high ankle sprain that hasn’t fully healed.
Milliner missed the season opener, but played at Green Bay in a limited role. He might be able to do the same against the Bears, coming off the bench to help take on Chicago’s receiving duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
”Well, yeah, if he is as good as he was last week, then, yeah, absolutely,” Ryan said of Milliner. ”We will determine that later in the week. Unless we feel great about it, he feels great and everything else, then we’re not going to put him in there (for) 100 percent of the snaps.”
Ryan, however, also wouldn’t completely rule out Milliner being able to start.
Backup linebackers Nick Bellore (hip) and A.J. Edds (hamstring) didn’t practice, leaving the Jets thin at inside linebacker behind starters David Harris and Demario Davis. Ryan joked that safety Dawan Landry might have to wear ”linebacker pads” before adding, ”We’ll figure it out.”
Running back Chris Johnson (ankle), right guard Willie Colon (calf) and center Nick Mangold (shoulder) were all limited, but expected to be fine for the game.