- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Jets wide receivers left standing have become extremely valuable, and Jeremy Kerley said that the coaches have modified some of the reps they get in practice out of an abundance of caution.
“The coaches are doing a great job of making sure reps are good reps not necessarily a lot of strain on our body and down-the-field reps,” Kerley said. “Making sure we have that chemistry and that timing within the stuff that we’re doing, so that everything flows kind of smooth, and at the same time it’s taking care of our legs.”
With WR Stephen Hill and TE Dustin Keller doubtful for the Monday night game against the Texans due to hamstring injuries, and top receiver Santonio Holmes out for the season with a foot injury, the remaining receivers will take on greater responsibility.
Despite the added pressure, Kerley does not want to give up his special teams responsibilities as punt returner.
Special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff confirmed Friday that there were no plans to make a switch.
“I think he has a lot of trust in me," Kerley said, "and there’s not too much on my plate so if it was up to me it’s definitely my choice to keep doing it.”
The Jets are 2-2 despite losing Holmes and cornerback Darrelle Revis. After being shut out 34-0 to the 49ers last week, pride is on the line for the team.
“We still have a bitter taste in our mouth about what happened last game," Kerley said. "We definitely want to kind of go out there and shake that loss and prove to ourselves that we’re back on the right track.”
Part of that means giving quarterback Mark Sanchez as reliable a receiving corps as he can possibly have, even though it is far from ideal.
“At this point in the season you gotta get guys that have that chemistry, so Mark, he can rely on down the stretch,” Kerley said. “The guys that are here we’re trying to take care of our bodies and make sure that we’re straight."