The New York Jets desperately need Santonio Holmes but veteran players don't really need training camp, and that's the stalemate "Gang Green" finds itself in with the enigmatic receiver.
Holmes is 11 months out from the Lisfranc injury which derailed his 2012 season and the doctor who treated him believes Santonio could be practicing if that was the kind of thing that interested him.
Dr. Robert Anderson has cleared the Ohio State product to begin football activities, according to the New York Post.
Holmes, however, has continued to balk over his potential return leaving many inside the Jets organization speculating that Holmes wants to avoid tedious training camp and preseason practices at all costs.
"I never had one from the start," Holmes said when discussing the target date for his return. "Coming off of injury, the first time, just letting the foot heal up and see where we can go from there."
Holmes even informed reporters last week that he hadn't begun to run yet. Unfortunately for him, though, everyone has cell phones these days and video shot by a fan in the stands at SUNY Cortland caught the wide receiver doing exactly that on the sidelines.
That was followed by a Saturday night appearance where Holmes was running pretty well and caught a few passes from rookie Geno Smith in warmups before the Jets' preseason win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"I probably ran two routes, which were the two passes that I caught from Geno on the deep-side, but everything else was walk, catch the ball on the sideline," Holmes said while making sure to let everyone know his foot feels good on some days, but not so great on others -- sort of like the rest of us who haven't been able to visit the Dr. Scholl's FootMapping Center recently.
"It wasn't really full-go. It wasn't planting and cutting the way I would like to, so at this point, it's only making strides forward.
"This pain won't go away."
Fair enough but let me put the Jets' concerns to rest ... that pain will go away by the first week of September and Holmes will proclaim himself healthy and ready to go for Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers..
Allen Iverson may be the only sports star dumb enough to proclaim his disdain for practice in a forum so public. His famous rant will live on forever but rest assured the thoughts behind The Answer's complaints are shared by many established players.
Yeah, it's selfish but it's also reality.
Some hate practice more than others of course and Holmes is evidently a charter member of the Percy Harvin fan club, probably expending more energy devising ways to get out of practice than he would if he just sucked it up for a few hours.
Heck, Holmes even took it up a notch while going to the third person, proclaiming that if he cant reach "a Santonio Holmes level of competition," he may never return.
"We have 16 weeks of football. At any point, I could be ready to play and if not I'd be willing to accept it."
That kind of doom and gloom talk set off alarm bells but before Jets fans commit to a ledge, understand Holmes has 358 career receptions under his belt, a Super Bowl MVP award and the knowledge that the team's starting wideouts in his absence are Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley.
When Holmes wants to come back -- and he has about $7.5 million reasons to want to come back -- he will be welcomed with open arms and he knows it.
So why not extend the rehabilitation for a few more weeks?
After all, we're talkin' about practice ... not a game ... practice.