Jets' Devin Smith waiting for OK to play after knee injury
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Devin Smith is just waiting for the OK to play.
The New York Jets wide receiver remains on the physically unable to perform list while he works his way back from a torn knee ligament that has already cost him half this season.
''Yeah, I would like to be out there,'' Smith said. ''But just taking my time and whenever they're ready to put me out there, I'll be ready.''
Smith, a second-round draft pick out of Ohio State last year, was covering a punt against Tennessee on Dec. 12, 2015, when his right knee gave out. He was carted off the field, and a torn anterior cruciate ligament ended his rookie season.
He spent the first six weeks of this season on the PUP list and returned to practice on Oct. 19. The Jets have 21 days from that day to either activate him to the 53-man roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve, meaning the decision must come by next Wednesday.
''This is kind of how I put it: Whatever decision that they make, there's a reason for it,'' Smith said after the last full practice of the week on Friday. ''I'm just going to be ready for whatever the situation is. But if they do decide to bring me back and have me play, I'll be ready.''
Smith remains uncertain as to what the Jets' plans are for him. Coach Todd Bowles said earlier in the week that it was ''possible'' Smith could be activated in time to play Sunday at Miami, but that seemed more unlikely as the week went on.
''I feel good and I've been practicing,'' Smith said. ''I feel sore every now and then, but that's what comes with this type of injury after not practicing for so long. Overall, though, I feel good. My speed feels good. I'm catching the ball good, so I'm just looking forward to getting back out there and being in a game like atmosphere.''
Smith's rookie season was rocky as he had to also deal with rib and lung injuries that sidelined him during training camp, and he went through the typical ups and downs of a first-year player learning about life in the NFL. He finished with just nine catches for 115 yards and a touchdown before the knee injury.
Smith acknowledged that he's anxious, just itching to get back on the field with the Jets. He has learned during his rehabilitation to temper expectations to prevent getting too high or low while waiting to return.
''Yeah, I'm ready to get back, but I'm going to let it come to me,'' he said. ''I'm not going to try to force anything or go out there and I'm not ready. I feel they're doing a real good job with me as far as getting me some reps and getting me back into football shape. I'm just getting my feet wet and running routes.''
NOTES: With TE Kellen Davis (elbow) out Sunday, the Jets signed TE Eric Tomlinson off the Houston Texans' practice squad. He was originally signed by Philadelphia after going undrafted out of UTEP in 2015. He was among the Eagles' final roster cuts and then spent his rookie season and the first half of this season on the Texans' practice squad. To make room on the active roster, the Jets waived OLB Victor Ochi.
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