Jets' Santonio Holmes hopes to play

Updated: August 23, 2012, 8:01 PM ET
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes participated in practice for the second day in a row Thursday, and hopes to play in the team's next preseason game Sunday night against the Carolina Panthers.

"I feel pretty confident that I can come back and play this week," said Holmes, after Thursday's practice.

Holmes was limited during the 2½-hour session, only taking a few live reps, and wearing a red no-contact jersey. But he did haul in a deep pass from Mark Sanchez during 11-on-11 team drills.

"I'm good," Holmes said. "I would say I'm ready to roll, but I know the trainers wouldn't like to hear that from me right about now."

The trainers have yet to give the green light to Holmes, who has been suffering from a rib injury. Holmes said Thursday his back and left hamstring also had been bothering him.

But coach Rex Ryan, speaking before Thursday's practice, also expressed hope that Holmes and fellow wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (hamstring) would suit up and play Sunday night.

"I was encouraged by both of them (Wednesday)," Ryan said. "Both of them running around, they looked pretty good. We've been kind of increasing their workload, as we get going to this week, so I'm hopeful that they'll play."

"I honestly think it would be," Holmes said when asked if it's important for him to play on Sunday. "To get the speed back up and get the feel of the game, try to get my wind back and play behind these guys."

The Jets sorely have missed Holmes, the team's No. 1 wide receiver. In the team's first two preseason games, the first-string offense has failed to score a single touchdown.

When asked about the team's struggles on offense, Holmes pointed to the fact that the team has a new offensive coordinator, Tony Sparano.

"It's a learning curve for us right now, having a new offense thrown at us," Holmes said. "We have to play better all around -- especially our receivers, we have to be a lot more physical than what we have been showing."

"It's the preseason," Holmes added. "Last I checked, it counts in September, and I think our guys will get the ball rolling come September."

Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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