Ryan confirms high-ankle sprain for Milliner


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets open the regular season in 20 days. They're confident injured cornerback Dimitri Patterson will be ready to go. There's less certainty with fellow corner Dee Milliner, who suffered a high-ankle sprain eight days ago.

"We feel confident that it's healing nicely," Ryan said without providing a timetable on Milliner's anticipated return.

Milliner experienced significant swelling after the injury, the team said, which is alarming because there is often a minimum degree of swelling with a high-ankle sprain. This probably means it's a moderate (Grade 2) sprain, according to Dr. David Chao, a former NFL team physician.

"A moderate high-ankle sprain puts the first regular-season game in jeopardy," Chao said.

Chao was speaking of high-ankle sprains in general, noting that he hasn't examined Milliner or his test results. But he said the rule of thumb for a grade-2 sprain is four to six weeks. The initial hope for the Jets was three to four weeks.

Ryan was optimistic about Patterson's return. Like Milliner, Patterson didn't play last Saturday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. He's nursing calf, quadriceps and ankle injuries. He's not the most durable player, having missed 33 games over the previous three seasons. Patterson practiced Monday on a limited basis, which was more than he did last week.

"I hope he'll be ready. I'd think he will," Ryan said. "I don't think any of (his injuries) are of the severe variety, but they've been able to keep him out of action, so we'll see. This is just a little step back. Hopefully, he'll do more (Tuesday)."

The Jets' beleaguered secondary, shredded by Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, needs reinforcements. They lined up Monday with the same starting lineup they had in Cincinnati -- Antonio Allen and Ellis Lankster at cornerback, with Dawan Landry and Jaiquawn Jarrett. Ryan came to the defense of oft-criticized nickel back Kyle Wilson, who allowed a 43-yard touchdown against the Bengals. Ryan said Wilson was supposed to have deep help on the play, but could've played the ball better in the air.

"I expect this will be his finest year," Ryan said of Wilson.