NEW YORK (AP) — Dee Milliner’s status for the New York Jets’ regular-season opener is still unclear.
The second-year cornerback suffered a high left ankle sprain during training camp on Aug. 10 and hasn’t practiced since. Coach Rex Ryan said it’s “still too early to tell” whether the injury will be healed for the game against the Oakland Raiders next Sunday.
“My understanding is he’s doing a good job with his treatment,” Ryan said during a conference call Friday. “But will he be back in time for the first game? I’m not sure yet.”
Heading into training camp, Milliner and veteran Dimitri Patterson appeared on track as the Jets’ starting cornerbacks. But Milliner’s injury and Patterson’s uncertain status because of his suspension for an unexcused absence last week has clouded the Jets’ cornerback situation.
Milliner, in his second season, had a shaky rookie year but bounced back with a solid December — and was selected the NFL’s defensive rookie of the month after getting 27 tackles, three interceptions and 13 passes defensed.
If he can’t go, Darrin Walls would likely get the start against the Raiders.
“He had an outstanding camp,” Ryan said.
Patterson’s situation is still unresolved. He was at meetings, a walkthrough and the pregame meal last Friday, but didn’t show for the game against the Giants later that night at MetLife Stadium. The Jets said they didn’t know of his whereabouts until the next day, but Patterson said in a statement to ESPN on Thursday that the team’s claims that he went missing without notifying the organization are “completely false.”
When asked if he spoke to Patterson about his comments, Ryan tersely said he hadn’t.
Patterson was suspended Tuesday for the rest of the preseason, and is eligible to rejoin the Jets on Monday. But there are some doubts as to whether he will remain with the team.
Safety-turned-cornerback Antonio Allen is recovering from a concussion, and could step in for either Milliner or Patterson. He is going through the NFL’s protocol for head injuries after being hurt against the Giants.
“He seems to be progressing pretty nice,” Ryan said. “I saw him out there running around today, so hopefully that’s a good sign.”
NOTES: LB Nick Bellore (calf), S Josh Bush (quadriceps) and CB Johnny Patrick (head) all were hurt in the preseason finale Thursday night at Philadelphia, but Ryan didn’t seem overly concerned. He said Patrick could have gone back into the game if needed — which means he likely didn’t suffer a concussion. ... LB Antwan Barnes is on the active/physically unable to perform list while recovering from a knee injury suffered last season. Ryan said Barnes “is really making strides,” although it’s uncertain if he’ll be activated or start the season on PUP. ... Ryan said the team will not announce any player cuts on Friday, and declined comment on the fate of any players, including struggling WR Stephen Hill. The 2012 second-round pick has dealt with injuries and inconsistency and is on the roster bubble, although Ryan didn’t rule out the Jets carrying as many as seven wide receivers.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL