Jets’ Pryor progressing in return from ankle surgery
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Terrelle Pryor knows he’s getting closer – little by little – to being fully healthy again. Staying patient, however, has been his biggest challenge.
The New York Jets wide receiver is coming off offseason ankle surgery and has been gradually getting more time on the field during training camp. Pryor participated in about 10 snaps in team drills Thursday and ran eight routes.
That’s progress. Slowly but surely.
”I’m not there (yet),” Pryor said. ”I talk to my teammates and I tell them all the time, it feels like I’m almost there but then I don’t have that just (snaps finger) yet, and it’s like, yeah, I get it and it’s going to take a couple of weeks. I’ll get there. I feel pretty good, though.”
Pryor, who turned 29 in June, couldn’t practice during organized team activities or minicamp after having arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle with a different injury from the one that shut him down with the Redskins last season.
He was in a walking boot until the second day of minicamp, so just being able to run now in 11-on-11 drills is an encouraging sign.
”Some days, you get sore sometimes, but for the most part they have it under control – I have it under control,” Pryor said. ”It feels good. I’ve just got to continue the progression and believing.”
It’s uncertain if Pryor, the former Ohio State quarterback who’s still developing as a wide receiver will be a full go by the time the Jets play their preseason opener against Atlanta on Aug. 10.
There’s no need to rush things at this point, not when he played hurt for most of last season with Washington before being shut down.
”It’s early on, just the second week into camp, fifth or sixth practice,” he said. ”I’ve just got to understand that and keep that perspective. Once I get out there and I start catching more balls and getting targets and stuff like that, I’ll get my confidence. Everybody needs a confidence boost, in terms of that.
”So I’ve got to continue to do that and continue to show the quarterbacks I can get open and I think I’ll keep on growing in confidence from that.”
Pryor signed a one-year, $6 million contract with Washington last season and was expected to be a major part of the Redskins’ offense after leading Cleveland in receptions, yards receiving, TD catches, yards per game and yards per catch in 2016. But he tore the deltoid ligament in his ankle in Week 1 and tried to play through the pain.
He opted for season-ending surgery after nine games and just 20 catches for 240 yards and one touchdown. His lone season in Washington was a bust, and the Redskins allowed him to become a free agent.
”Obviously, he’s a big guy, but he can really run and stretch the field,” quarterback Josh McCown said of the 6-foot-4, 228-pound Pryor. ”For him, when they made that transition the last year I was there in Cleveland and made the transition to receiver, and in every year he has gotten better and better. It’s been a work in progress, but we’re glad to have him and he has put a lot of work in.”
The Jets will travel to Richmond, Virginia, for joint practices with the Redskins from Aug. 12-14 before the teams’ preseason game Aug. 16. That matchup provides a bit of a juicy matchup with Pryor going up against his former teammates.
In June, Redskins linebacker Zach Brown said Washington’s defense ”will have it out” for Pryor, who apparently rubbed his teammates the wrong way with the way he went about things in practice.
”Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets,” Brown said, ”you’re going to catch a forearm.”
During minicamp, Pryor brushed off the comments. This time around, the Jets receiver was a bit more expansive – and direct.
”We’re there to practice and get better,” Pryor said. ”If I wanted to put my shoulder down and hit one of them and be chippy, too, I’m sure I could do that. But that’s not why we’re there. We’re there to get better.
”If they take dirty shots, I’m sure we’ll handle that accordingly.”
Pryor added that he didn’t want to ”individualize myself” by talking about potential beef between him and the Redskins.
”It’s about us going there and getting better day by day,” he said, ”like we’re trying to do here.”
NOTES: WR Quincy Enunwa sat out for the second straight day with what Bowles said was ”sore” right hand. … Rookie CB Parry Nickerson tweaked his right hamstring while covering Pryor in drills. It wasn’t immediately known if the injury might sideline the sixth-rounder out of Tulane who has had a strong camp. … Rookie QB Sam Darnold had his best practice since ending his contract holdout Monday. The No. 3 overall pick threw two touchdown passes in goal-line drills and also ran for a score earlier in practice.
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