New York Jets: Royce Pollard
Before practice, coach Rex Ryan revealed that Wayne Hunter has lost his starting job at right tackle in favor of Austin Howard.
After practice, Santonio Holmes declared himself fit to play Sunday night against the Carolina Panthers.
In between, the Jets worked out for 2½ hours Thursday afternoon in front of a few hundred fans as training camp winds to a close. They got to see Howard take all the reps with the first unit, and Holmes get a few live reps as well -- wearing a red no-contact jersey -- as he continues to recover from a rib injury.
In terms of other practice observations:
INJURY REPORT: RB Joe McKnight, who missed Wednesday's practice with shin splints, was back on the field, but limited. S LaRon Landry was also limited for precautionary reasons. ... TE Jeff Cumberland, WR Patrick Turner, WR Chaz Schilens, DT Sione Pouha, CB Ellis Lankster and LB Ricky Sapp did not practice.
GROUND AND POUND: The Jets worked extensively on their running game Thursday. Gang Green averaged just 1.8 yards per carry in Saturday night's preseason loss to the Giants, gaining 58 yards on 32 totes.
OPPOSITE SIDES: The first-team offense and first-team defense rarely matched up against each other Thursday. The Jets were likely preparing for Sunday night's game against the Panthers, having the first-stringers face scout teams.
THE HIGHLIGHT? Mark Sanchez completed a beautiful pass over the middle to Royce Pollard on one of the few plays when both the first-team offense and first-team defense matched up against each other, in 11-on-11 drills. Pollard went high to reel in the ball, in between safeties Yeremiah Bell and Josh Bush. Sanchez was fired up after the play.
On the day, Sanchez completed four of seven passes against the first-team defense. Tim Tebow went 2-for-3 against them, with a sack.
In 7-on-7 drills, LB David Harris dropped a gimme interception thrown by Tebow. But he made up for it with a nice pick on a pass thrown by Greg McElroy. Rookie LB Demario Davis also had an interception late in practice, in 11-on-11 drills.
THE KICKING GAME: Nick Folk nailed all three of his field goal attempts at the end of practice, including one from 53 yards away. Josh Brown also connected from 53 yards, but missed a shorter attempt.
REMEMBER ME? Former Jets offensive tackle Damien Woody, now an ESPN analyst, visited practice on Thursday, along with his two sons. Kind of ironic, considering this was the day the Jets made a switch at Woody's former position.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- On the first day of training camp, Rex Ryan announced wide receiver Santonio Holmes had a hamstring injury. And so does Stephen Hill. Plus Patrick Turner, Royce Pollard, Jeremy Kerley and DeMarcus Ganaway have bad hammies as well.
In fact, a good majority of the wide receivers were nursing some kind of hamstring injury, and Ryan sheepishly joked that it might have been his fault.
"I want to push these guys and that’s exactly what we’ve done," Ryan said on the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday. "Obviously, I think I’ve probably pushed the wide out group in particular a little too hard. Now that’s what we call an after-action report and that will certainly be in there."
Daniel Kharrazi is an orthopedic surgeon at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles who follows the Jets. He said hamstring injuries usually occur when there is a history of injury, or if the muscle is overextended. The possibility is increased if the muscle is weakened or fatigued.
Given that they are professional athletes, Kharrazi doubts it’s a lack of conditioning that’s causing the injuries, and speculated that, considering what Ryan said, fatigue could have been the issue.
"I don’t think their guys are weak. I don’t think they have reduced flexibility," Kharrazi said.
He has not examined any of the Jets, so he can not give specifics on how long players might be out. In general, depending on how the strain is graded, it should be healed by the time the team has to report for training camp on July 26.
"If it’s a grade one or two," Kharrazi said, "the odds are pretty good they’ll be healed. The muscle fibers start to form scar tissue and need three to six months to recover fully."
Odds are, most of the affected wide receivers won’t have a recurrence of the initial injury, but Kharrazi said that prior injury can make the muscle more vulnerable in the future.