CORTLAND, N.Y. – Good news, Jets fans. Santonio Holmes is OK.
X-rays on the New York wide receiver's ribs Saturday night were negative, easing concerns that Holmes might be sidelined a while. The team said Holmes is day-to-day after he was injured in the team's scrimmage.
That quelled the Jets' initial fears after coach Rex Ryan said that Holmes "might" have broken a rib. That would have been bad news for a team that lacks depth at the position because of other injuries.
"I'm sure he'll be fine, but we'll have to check on him later," Ryan said. "Other than that, he had a good day."
It is believed Holmes was injured on a third-down play when he was hit by cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who earlier in the week made some waves when he said he thought he was the team's second-best wide receiver — behind Holmes.
Well, with his clean hit on Holmes, it appeared Cromartie might have moved up the depth chart.
Holmes finished with three catches for 22 yards in the 90-minute scrimmage at Cortland Stadium. He had not participated in team drills for the Jets (No. 17 in the AP Pro32) during the past few days with what he called "a lot of soreness in the body." Ryan said trainers initially indicated it appeared to be a fracture.
"He's a tough guy, but I don't think he's going to be running out there tomorrow or the next day," Ryan said. "We'll have to see."
Second-year receiver Jeremy Kerley hasn't practiced all camp because of a sore hamstring, veteran Chaz Schilens (groin) also has been slowed and several other players at the position have been hobbled by hamstring issues and other "soft-tissue injuries," as Ryan put it.
Rookie Stephen Hill is expected to be a major contributor this season, but Saturday night's scare also showed just how tenuous the position is if Holmes goes down. It wouldn't be out of the question that the Jets look for help elsewhere. Plaxico Burress, who played for the Jets last season, is still a free agent, as are Terrell Owens, Mike Williams and Mike Sims-Walker.
"You'd love to have your No. 1 guy out there, your big gun out there, and he looked good today," Ryan said. "Him and (Mark) Sanchez connected several times. It's not ideal, but you just have to play the hand that's dealt to you."
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Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL