CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The last thing the Jets need is another injury at wide receiver, but rookie Stephen Hill hurt his right ring finger Tuesday and didn't finish practice.
The preliminary indication was that the finger wasn't broken, and it was confirmed later in the day when his X-rays came back negative. The team is calling it "mallet finger," which means there could be some tendon damage, but it's not believed to be serious. Hill said he hurt the finger while engaged with CB Darrelle Revis.
Speaking of receivers -- or, in this case, wannabe receivers -- CB Antonio Cromartie got a chance to take a rep with the third-team offense. Lo and behold, he scored on a short touchdown pass from Greg McElroy.
INJURY REPORT: NT Sione Pouha (back), WR Santonio Holmes (rib), WR Jeremy Kerley (hamstring), WR Chaz Schilens (ankle) and CB Ellis Lanskter (undisclosed) were among those who didn't practice. Kerley is improving and he continued to field punts in special-teams drills. The team is hoping he can practice by the end of the week. Pouha's situation bears watching. For the second time this week he didn't even show up to the practice field. S Eric Smith (sprained knee) didn't practice. He's walking with a significant limp.
HANGING WITH CHAD: Former Jets QB Chad Pennington visited practice. He talked with coaches and players on the sideline and was headed off to attend offensive meetings.
Pennington, who spent time with QB Mark Sanchez in the offseason, said he's "invested" in Sanchez. He said Sanchez is throwing the ball as well as he's ever seen him throw. Pennington, a Jet from 2000 to 2007, said he's officially retired.
NOT A HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Tim Tebow turned 25 and, as expected, there were several birthday banners in the crowd. After practice, he signed autographs and was serenaded with a chorus of "Happy Birthday" from the crowd. He walked off the field holding a card given to him by a fan.
Unfortunately for Tebow, he didn't celebrate with a crisp practice. In fact, his completion percentage (22 percent, 2-for-9) was lower than his age. He also was sacked twice.
Sanchez had a solid practice, completing 10 of 20 passes, with one touchdown. His touchdown was a 30-yard strike to TE Dustin Keller. On a couple of occasions, Sanchez shouted at one of his rookie receivers, apparently pointing out bad routes. This has to be frustrating for Sanchez. With Holmes on the sideline, he's working with an inexperienced cast of wideouts. He hooked up with Jordan White on a 25-yard fade, one of the highlight plays.
In the 7-on-7 passing drill, Sanchez threw three touchdowns in a span of four plays, connecting with Keller and Josh Baker (twice).
ODDS AND ENDS: This was a heavy passing day, with a lot of work in the red zone. There also was a lot of third-and-long work. Good idea, considering the third-and-long struggles in the preseason opener ... LB Garrett McIntyre, S Antonio Allen and DE Muhammad Wilkerson recorded sacks ... CB Isaiah Trufant intercepted McElroy on a deflected pass ... Nice play by S Yeremiah Bell, tipping away a pass in the end zone ... A dropped pass for RB Bilal Powell ... Wayne Hunter and Austin Howard split reps at right tackle.