Jets’ Leonard Williams limited with bone bruise in wrist

September 21, 2017

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Big Cat is a bit banged up for the New York Jets.

Defensive lineman Leonard Williams was limited at practice Thursday with a wrist injury that he says is a bone bruise.

“It’s been bothering me at times,” Williams acknowledged after practice.

Williams was originally injured during the preseason, when the Jets characterized it as a sprain. It doesn’t appear that the injury will keep him out of the Jets’ home opener Sunday against Miami, but Williams might have to play through it for at least the foreseeable future.

“I’ve still been having some ups and downs with it,” Williams said. “I’ve been in the trainers’ room as much as possible trying to recover it. Other than that, I’m going when I get called, and the decision’s up to Coach (Todd) Bowles and it’s up to me to get it healed as fast as possible.”

Williams was a full participant at practice Wednesday, but was downgraded for Thursday’s session.

“He’s pretty tough, but he’s pretty sore,” Bowles said. “So we limited him today.”

Williams has eight tackles and two quarterback hurries in what has been a slow start for him and the rest of the Jets’ defense.

“In a game, I have a lot of adrenaline, so I don’t really feel it that much,” Williams said of his wrist. “But after a game, it’s a little tender. That’s why it’s up to me to stay on top of it, make sure that I’m in the trainers’ room getting the swelling down and getting everything corrected.”

Fellow defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson sat out practice for the second straight day with a sore shoulder. He said Wednesday that it wasn’t a big deal, and didn’t seem concerned about it — and neither did Bowles.

“We’ll see how the week goes,” the coach said. “We’ll see how he feels today and tomorrow.”

If both Williams and Wilkerson are limited in any way against the Dolphins, the Jets could be in for a long day. New York has allowed a league-high 370 yards rushing and will take on Jay Ajayi, who ran for 122 yards against a solid Chargers run defense last Sunday.

“It’s a home game, it’s a division game and we need the win,” Williams said. “The defense up front has been getting challenged the last two games. We’re ready to step up to the plate, we’re ready to take on the challenge and stop the run and get after the quarterback and get some sacks.”

The Jets have taken the quarterback down just twice in two games, and both came in the opener at Buffalo against Tyrod Taylor. Last week, New York had no hits on the Raiders’ Derek Carr.

On Sunday, they’ll take on a less mobile quarterback in Miami’s Jay Cutler, who was sacked twice by the Chargers.

“That’s something that we talked about as a defensive front,” Williams said. “Our first game, we were against a scrambling quarterback, so we had to rush differently according to that. Also, with Derek Carr getting the ball out so quickly (last week), it was more of us affecting the quarterback by getting our hands up or something like that.

“To where now, it’s more of a traditional passing (game). At the same time, we’re going to have to stop the run in order to do that.”

In other injuries, starting right guard Brian Winters (abdomen) and tight ends Jordan Leggett (knee) and Eric Tomlinson (elbow) also didn’t practice.

Fourth-year backup Dakota Dozier would start if Winters is unable to play. Dozier stepped in last week after Winters was hurt against the Raiders.

“He did really well,” offensive coordinator John Morton said. “I was pleasantly surprised with how well he did. He was physical and that’s the way we want our line to be and he finished guys. You saw a couple of times, he tried to take them to the ground. It was good stuff.”

Wide receiver Robby Anderson (knee), tight end Neal Sterling (ankle) and safety Rontez Miles (eye) were all limited. It was an improvement for Anderson and Sterling, who both sat out Wednesday.


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