CORTLAND, N.Y. – During his drive from northern New Jersey to upstate New York to check in for the start of training camp, New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes' Cadillac truck broke down. Because of the car trouble, Holmes was late for the check-in time, an absence he said was excused by the coaching staff.
But Holmes is hoping his foot injury, which he is still rehabbing, will not force him to the proverbial side of the road.
The receiver was unable to participate with his teammates when training camp started, as he continues to receive rehab for his Lisfranc injury that cost him the final 12 games of last season. He can run forward and put weight on his leg, but the medical staff has prohibited lateral movement and backpedaling.
What's worse is when asked, Holmes couldn't offer any timetable for his return. Sidelined for the start of camp, he might not be ready for the start of the season either. He clearly bristled when answering about the timetable, which seems to be indefinite.
His doctors haven’t been able to provide any specifics that Holmes is willing to share.
“They don’t know, they don’t know. I’ve had two surgeries, that’s all I can do is rehab right now,” Holmes said. “That’s what I’m dealing with, going through the rehab process.”
He’s termed his return to the field “one day at a time,” but he is relying heavily on what his foot — which apparently can speak — is telling him.
“I want to do what the foot says to do,” Holmes said. “If it’s not ready to roll, it’s not ready to roll.”
Holmes went through two surgeries this offseason in an effort to get him back on his feet and contribute for the Jets. They need him. Before the Week 4 injury, Holmes led the Jets with 20 receptions and 272 receiving yards, putting him on pace for just the second 1,000-yard season of his career.
That he can’t pinpoint a date for return 10 months after the injury is obviously a sore spot for Holmes, who seemed to tire of the questions about his health and possible return date. It also hurts a Jets receiving corps that struggled this offseason to stay on the field, sidelined by numerous nagging injuries. Those receivers who were left to go through the offseason programs and minicamp struggled with drops and poor route running, placing an impetus on Holmes to return to the field sooner rather than later.
“I have to be careful to take it one day at a time," Holmes said. "That’s all I can do is worry about today and when tomorrow comes, go in and do everything possible to rehab and treat it and show up on the practice field and do the things that I do when I’m not working which is catch the ball. Just go through drills and keep my playbook up close to me and learn my plays.
“I have to stick to the basics which is the things that I would do if I was playing right now as opposed to the things I can’t do. And I can’t worry about the things I can’t do right now.”
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