A month after a dislocated elbow sidelined Jeremy Kerley, the Jets wide receiver will return Sunday against the Raiders, making for a complete and healthy offense for the first time since Week 4. Jets coach Rex Ryan admits Kerley’s arrival, coupled with Santonio Holmes’ return to health after a hamstring injury, is a better scenario in which to judge rookie quarterback Geno Smith. “We don’t make excuses or anything else but obviously having your top guys healthy, I think makes a huge difference,” Ryan said. “We had those conversations and to me it’s like, judge us moving forward. And look, you’re going to judge us anyway up to this point, and you should and I understand it. But let’s see how we close this thing out when our guys are healthy.” Kerley said he expects to be at least 90 percent on Sunday, and has decided not to wear any padding on the elbow. That said, Kerley expects that opponents would target his vulnerable left side and his elbow will get hit. “I know it’s going to happen,” Kerley said. “Pain is going to occur; might get hit, might fall on it wrong. Just looking to get over it as soon as it happens.” The mood in the Jets locker room was light on Friday. The special-teams players had decorated their lockers with Christmas lights and erected a giant inflatable Santa Claus in the center of the room. The Jets are not eliminated from the playoff picture, but several players noted that, with all injured players healthy for this week, they have a fair shot after three straight losses. “We’re all looking for something, some type of edge, some type of motivation and in some aspects we’re out of words,” offensive lineman Willie Colon said. “We understand that we’ve made this mess and the only way out of it is on us pulling together as a team and as a family and start winning games.” There is a better chance with Kerley in the lineup. The slot receiver has been a safety valve for Smith this season, and backup quarterback David Garrard said it’s no coincidence that the team’s three-game losing streak was while Kerley was out.
Kerley may hold key to Geno's success
ESPN New York | Dec 6