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Monday, September 16, 2013
Wilkerson, Coples, Kerley at practice

By Jane McManus

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- DL Muhammad Wilkerson, WR Jeremy Kerley and LB Quinton Coples all returned to Jets practice Monday morning. Kerley, who had been diagnosed with a concussion the day after the Tampa Bay game, wore a red non-contact jersey.

Wilkerson injured his right ankle in the fourth quarter against the Patriots, and coach Rex Ryan had said after the game he hoped it wasn’t a high ankle sprain. On Monday, Wilkerson participated in individual drills during the open portion of practice.

“I wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent back but I hope he’s ready to roll,” Ryan said of Wilkerson.

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Wilkerson’s return is a good sign for the team, given the relative strength of the defensive line in early play this season. Wilkerson has been a key member of that line, and Coples (6-6, 290) is often used to bolster the end.

Coples sustained a hairline fracture to his right ankle during a preseason game against the Jaguars, and had a medical procedure the next week. The Jets had said he was out indefinitely, but Monday he did agility drills on the sideline while wearing an ankle wrap.

Ryan could not say definitively who could be available on Sunday.

“They’re definitely getting closer,” Ryan said. “But I think when you’re looking at Kerley’s situation, that’s a concussion so there’s a bunch of different hoops that he’s got to go through, different doctors and all that kind of stuff. With Quinton he just had surgery like three weeks ago but I know he has been doing an unbelievable job in his rehab. But that would be something if we can get him back. Now, I’m not sure how possible that is, but we’ll see.”

Given the number of drops, the sure hands of Kerley were missed last Sunday in Foxborough. Rookie starter Geno Smith had a 42.9 completion percentage, due in part to drops from Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates.