- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Dustin Keller, who pulled a hamstring on the first series of Sunday night's loss to the Panthers, said early Monday morning that he expects to face the Bills in 13 days. That's good news for the Jets' struggling offense.
"I should be fine for the season opener," Keller said in a text message to ESPNNewYork.com, adding that he may avoid an MRI exam because "it's not that bad."
Keller can rest this week because the starters won't play Thursday night against the Eagles in the final preseason game.
It's a different story for fellow TE Josh Baker, who appears lost for the season after suffering a serious knee injury. He was awaiting MRI results Monday morning, but a source called it a likely ACL injury. On a pass in the end zone, Baker was drilled in the right knee by Panthers CB Josh Norman, who led with his helmet. By the time he was helped to the sideline, Baker's knee already had ballooned with swelling.
Baker will be waived as an injured player, according to a tweet by his agent, Howard Shatsky. Once he clears waivers, he'll return to the Jets' injured-reserve list.
Baker caught only three passes for 27 yards and a touchdown last season, but he has value because he can line up just about anywhere, mainly tight end and fullback.
Suddenly, the tight-end position is hurting. Aside from Keller and Baker, Jeff Cumberland is coming off a concussion (he didn't play) and Dedrick Epps was taken for X-rays for an undisclosed injury. The only other tight ends on the roster are former rugby player Hayden Smith and rookie Tarren Lloyd.
Smith is a major project, so the Jets may look to add a tight end in the coming days.