FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Muhammad Wilkerson’s sore hamstring is still keeping him off the field.
The New York Jets defensive end recently had a ”minor” setback,” and remains day-to-day for a return to practice. Wilkerson has sat out most of training camp with the strained left hamstring.
”Just a minor, little setback,” Wilkerson said Saturday.
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He tried to participate in team drills during the week when he felt the hamstring tweak. An MRI exam revealed no tears, and Wilkerson said his leg is feeling ”better” each day.
”Anybody who has a hamstring injury, it can linger,” Wilkerson said. ”I’ve just got to make sure it’s good before I go back out there. I don’t want to have any more setbacks.”
Wilkerson did not play in the Jets’ preseason-opening 23-3 loss at Detroit on Thursday night. He is unsure if he’ll play against Atlanta at home next Friday.
”We’re just going to go slowly and go from there,” he said. ”Of course, everybody that knows me, I want to be out there with my teammates and I want to be out there practicing and getting involved with the guys. But for right now, I’ve just got to do my job, and that’s stand on the side and help out the players the best that I can, help out the defensive line. Inside, I do all the treatment and rehabbing I’ve got to do for my hamstring.”
Wilkerson, entering the final year of his rookie contract and seeking a long-term extension, had no comment on whether he remained hopeful a new deal would be struck before the start of the regular season.
Meanwhile, the Jets could be without second-year tight end Jace Amaro for a while. Amaro sprained a shoulder against the Lions, and coach Todd Bowles says he’s ”week-to-week” rather than day-to-day.
”We’re still evaluating him,” Bowles said, ”but right now, count him out.”
Amaro was not at practice Saturday, although Bowles is hopeful the injury won’t keep him sidelined past training camp. Jeff Cumberland is the projected starter, with Kellen Davis, Wes Saxton and converted linebacker Julian Howsare competing for backup roles. Amaro had an up-and-down rookie season, catching 38 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns while dealing with some drops and inconsistent play.
NOTES: Bowles had no update on a timetable for QB Geno Smith, who is expected to be sidelined 6-10 weeks with a broken jaw after being punched Tuesday by then-teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali. Smith had surgery Thursday to insert screws and plates into the jaw, which will not be wired shut, and was released from the hospital Friday. … LB Erin Henderson has a sprained left knee, and didn’t practice. WR Chris Owusu remains out with a concussion. CB Curtis Brown (left hamstring) returned to practice, as did WR T.J. Graham (hamstring).
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