BRAYLON’S RETURN TO JETS IS A WELCOMED ONE, BUT WILL HE BE READY TO CONTRIBUTE ON MONDAY NIGHT?
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Braylon Edwards is back sporting green and white, but will be limited in Thursday’s practice with a hamstring injury.
The Jets claimed Edwards off waivers Monday, who was last played for the team in 2010, picking up the remaining $164,000 on his $875,000 contract with the Seahawks. Pete Carroll said Tuesday the team waived the All-Pro receiver after team doctors said he wouldn’t be available to play for the next three games.
Rex Ryan said that he’s “optimistic” Edwards will be ready to play Monday night at Tennessee after passing a team physical and added, “obviously, we felt different [than the Seahawks did]”.
Citing the learned curve of catching up with a new offense, Ryan wouldn’t divulge how much he expects Edwards to play, but hopes for a repeat performance from his first career game as a Jet.
“He’s a guy that’s played in the league a long time. He’s a smart guy. So hopefully he’ll pick it up fast. I know Sanjay has been spending a lot of time with him. When we did make that trade [in 2009], it was funny, we were wondering how much he’ll be able to play. And he played a ton for us that game,” Ryan said. “All I want is for him to have the type of game the last time we picked him up – which was scoring a touchdown and setting up two others. If he can do that we’ll be OK.”
A jovial Rex gushed about Edwards repeatedly saying “I like Braylon as a player and a person”, despite the receiver’s recent negative comments in which he called the Jets ‘decision makers’ “idiots” on Twitter.
“There are times where you make a comment, not that I’ve ever done this, and you’re like ‘Ooh, that came out wrong,’ but I’m happy to have him back. There’s not one person in that locker room who’s perfect with a comment here or there,” Ryan said.
Edwards was warmly welcomed in the locker room, exchanging hugs and pleasantries with his teammates — old and new. Perhaps none happier than quarterback Mark Sanchez, who’s 10 career touchdowns with Edwards are three more than the combined touchdown total of his current starting receivers — Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill and Chaz Schilens.
“I think that’s big for the quarterback to have a rapport with the receiver. All the receiver has to do is run around and catch the ball. For a quarterback there’s a comfort level. I think that’s why we brought him in. He does have some chemistry with the quarterback,” Ryan said.
Fans and media members alike have been publicly clamoring for the return of the original Flight Boy since — well, since he left in 2010. Ryan mentioned he always liked they way Edwards has played and attributes much of their 2009-10 playoff success to him, yet the team waited until Week 14 to reunite with troubled yet productive receiver.
“Each time there’s different circumstances. Even when he left here, I’ve always liked Braylon. There’s all type of guys you wish you had, but that can’t happen every time.”
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