<
>

Jets practice report: Injuries, dizzy bats

8/10/2014

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- A few takeaways from Sunday's New York Jets practice:

Double trouble: The entire practice was overshadowed by the injuries to cornerbacks Dee Milliner (ankle) and rookie Dexter McDougle (torn ACL). Afterward, Rex Ryan was in a somber mood, particularly with regard to McDougle. Sure enough, it was later announced that he had suffered a severe knee injury, ending his season. A complete story is posted on the two injuries.

 Fun, fun, fun: Before the injuries, Ryan tried to lighten things by conducting a "Dizzy Bats" relay involving the rookies -- offense versus defense. Basically, each player was required to run to a standing bat, put forehead to bat, spin 10 times and run back -- a dizzying experience, to say the least. Quarterback Tajh Boyd was so disoriented that he ran sideways and crashed into some teammates, resulting in a roar of laughter. For the record, the defensive rookies beat their offensive counterparts. Safety Calvin Pryor ran the anchor lap for the defense -- a few days after returning from a concussion, no less. Said Pryor: "I had to bring 'em home."

"You're trying to get the energy level boosted up," said Ryan, explaining why he opted for the "Dizzy Bats" contest. "You want to get guys smiling, laughing, feeling good and ready to work."

Big-play day: The offense showed its quick-strike ability, as Geno Smith completed back-to-back long balls in the first team drill. On the first play, he had a 70-yard touchdown to rookie wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who beat Milliner. (It was a rough day all-around for the Jets' top corner.) Smith's throw was slightly behind Enunwa, but he was so open that it didn't matter. Moments later, Smith capitalzed on a busted coverage, finding wide receiver David Nelson for a 68-yard score. The bad news: The defense, which allowed far too many big plays last season, looked out of sync.

Big day for Quincy: It has been an up-and-down camp for Enunwa, mostly down, but this was by far his best day. The sixth-round pick, who missed the first week due to a hip injury, is straight out of central casting, with his 6-foot-2, 225-pound body. Problem is, his hands are erratic. On Sunday, he did have a drop (it wouldn't have counted in a game because of a false-start penalty). But, for the most part, he was more consistent than usual. In a 7-on-7 drill, he beat Milliner on a contested, 45-yard pass from Smith.

QB update: Aside from Smith's two big completions in team drills, it was a relatively quiet day for the quarterbacks. Smith took 10 reps with the first team, completing two of six passes. Michael Vick didn't get any reps as the first-team quarterback, finishing 2-for-2 overall.

Medical report: Several key plays sat out, namely wide receiver Eric Decker (quadriceps), running back Chris Ivory (ribs) and cornerback Dimitri Patterson (calf, ankle). Ivory was in pads but stayed out of drills. He described it as a rib-cartilage injury, saying he "felt some movement in there" during the first preseason game. He's not sure if he'll play the next game. ... Cornerback Jeremy Reeves (knee), linebacker Tim Fugger, tackle Brent Qvale (concussion) and tackle Markus Zusevics (knee) also sat out.

Odds and ends: Rookie linebacker Jeremiah George impressed in a 9-on-7 drill, making a tackle-for-loss on back-to-back plays. George is a bubble player, fighting for a roster spot. ... Center Nick Mangold missed practice for the second straight day. His wife gave birth. ... Running back Michael Smith is only 5-foot-9, 205 pounds, but he had some physical runs. ... Rookie tight end Jace Amaro had a drop. Guess he hasn't watched those old Ditka tapes yet. ... Safety Antonio Allen made a nice pass breakup in the end zone. ... Pryor worked with the second-team defense.