How much does New York Jets receiver Plaxico Burress want to practice after missing two full seasons in prison and the subsequent 2011 offseason due to the lockout? Enough to try and sneak onto the practice field despite that the Jets wanted to take things slowly with him. Burress inserted himself into the Jets' first 11-on-11 drill and ran a pattern. Quarterback Mark Sanchez threw to Burress, but the ball fell short.
After that first play, Rex Ryan told Burress to get off the field.
"He basically told me, 'Hey, it was a good start, we don't want any setbacks,'" Burress said after the practice. "If they wouldn't have [taken] me out, I would've kept on going. It was my first time out there in a couple years. It just felt good to kind of get back in the groove but Rex shut me down."
"I want to proceed really cautiously here. I don't want to do too much with him," Ryan responded. "But he's moving around good."
Burress was "moving around good" until he suffered a slight ankle injury on Wednesday while working out informally with teammate Santonio Holmes. He may practice on Monday and is expected to be ready for the Jets' first preseason game against Houston Texans on Aug. 15.
"I think they all understand," Burress told the media. "My teammates see me getting rehab two, three, four times a day, working hard to get back on the football field. It's something that I miss, I love and I just want to get back out there. They kind of got the reins on me a little bit but that's cool. I understand where they're coming from. They don't want me to have any more setbacks from where I am."
Burress is a risk under the best circumstances. He's trying to get back into football shape after not playing since the 2008 season. He served almost two years in prison after pleading guilty to a weapons charge, and he'll turn 34 three days before that preseason game. The Jets signed him to a one-year, $3.5 million deal just to see what he had left. He's still getting back up to speed, but Burress told the media that it feels as if he never left the game.
We'll just have to see if his body agrees through the season.