A long return for Santonio Holmes

November, 21, 2013
11/21/13
7:30
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Santonio Holmes was limited today, very limited if you listened to Rex Ryan describe how much the wide receiver played, just a day after missing all of Wednesday's practice.

“I've been limited all season and I'm pretty sure that's the way it's going to be until the end of the season,” Holmes said. “To continue managing the performance in practice so I can perform on Sunday.”

 

Which doesn't always happen. It may be time to face what is becoming a apparent; that Santonio Holmes isn't all the way back from a Lisfranc injury that required two surgeries in the offseason, or from a hamstring injury that contributed to missing a five-game stretch by Week 10 of the season.

“Both of those things are being treated round the clock really still,” offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. “He's in a situation where he practices on certain days and doesn't on certain days. And so we're still in that mode.”

Holmes returned last Sunday against the Bills, when he played in 53 percent of the snaps. That is significantly less than his usual workload, and well below David Nelson (83 percent), Stephen Hill (88 percent) and tight end Jeff Cumberland (81 percent).

To date, Holmes has 12 catches for 314 yards, and it doesn't look like he'll be ramping that up any time soon.

Following the loss to the Bills game, Holmes missed a day of practice and had just a few team reps on Thursday. So is there a chance he might not play in Baltimore?

“Why wouldn't I?” Holmes responded when asked.

Ryan said he expected Holmes to play, and Mornhinweg went farther. The coordinator said it depended on what the trainers thought was possible, but he hopes to get more production out of him.

“I would hope that at some point that he's practicing every day,” Mornhinweg said. “Now, we're getting down the stretch here.”

As the season ebbs, the chances lessen that Holmes regains his 2009 form, when he gained 1,248 yards for Pittsburgh, or even his 2010 production for the Jets after being suspended for the first four games of the season. That year, Holmes had 746 yards but helped the Jets reach the AFC championship game.

Things have changed since then.

Holmes started the season by being guarded about his physical progress, and that has been consistent. Holmes has two years left on his current deal, but it's unlikely the Jets would keep him at the current 2014 price: $8.25 million in salary with a $1 million roster bonus due in March.

Holmes is still one of the best options currently for the Jets at that position, but clearly they need to see more progress out of the wide receiver if he's going to be part of the team's future.
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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