Jets optimistic Dee Milliner will play this weekend

AP

The Jets have played without first-round pick Dee Milliner for the last three weeks as the cornerback recovers from a hamstring injury, but they may not need to come up with other plans for a fourth straight game.

Milliner returned to practice as a limited participant on Wednesday, his first day back in pads since suffering the injury. Coach Rex Ryan said in his press conference after the session that he was optimistic that Milliner would be able to be in the lineup against the Patriots.

If Milliner can play, it will be a chance for him to start turning around what’s been a disappointing rookie year thus far. He was recovering from shoulder surgery in the offseason, got hurt again in training camp and then wound up losing his starting job before injuring his hamstring. With defense looking like it will be the driver of things for the Jets while quarterback Geno Smith finds his way, getting the Milliner they hoped to get with the ninth pick would be a boost for the Jets.

Things are looking a bit less optimistic for the newly signed wide receiver Greg Salas. Ryan said Salas will be out a couple of weeks with a knee injury that the Jets knew about when they signed him off of the Eagles’ practice squad. With Santonio Holmes set to miss another game and David Nelson limited on Wednesday with a hamstring injury, the Jets may need to make another move at receiver before Sunday’s game.