Cotchery, in his seventh year with the Jets and the team's most veteran wide receiver, has missed the previous two games having suffered a slight groin tear in the Week 10 win at Cleveland. Since then, Cotchery has spent the time rehabbing the injury and has had precious little time on the field, practicing with his teammates. Yesterday, Cotchery was on the practice field in a more extended role for the first time since his injury, though he termed himself as "limited" throughout practice.
"I'm doing well, feeling better, continuing to make progress," Cotchery told Metro New York. "I just want to continue making progress, but today was a good day for me, a big step."
The Jets had hoped that Cotchery would be available for the Thanksgiving primetime game against Cincinnati, but the wide receiver was still hampered by the injury. The major issue for the wide receiver isn't necessarily the pain issue, though he says the injury still bothers him, but his ability to make cuts and lateral movements.
"That's the biggest issue, the lateral movement," Cotchery said. "As a wide receiver, I need to be able to make those cuts and move side to side. If I can't do that well, then I'm really not able to play."
But the fact that Cotchery is primed for a comeback in time for next Monday night's pivotal game against rival New England is good news for the Jets. Even with a depleted Cincinnati secondary on Thursday night, quarterback Mark Sanchez still managed to connect on just 16 passes for 166 yards, his third lowest passing total of the season. The veteran receiver's ability to be shifty and get open has been missed.
Cotchery registered just 26 receiving yards in the Week 2 win over the Patriots, but one of his four catches was a touchdown.
"It's just a day by day thing. I don't know how my body will respond on Thursday, that will be a big test for me. I need to practice, get on the field to get ready for Monday," Cotchery said. "Thursday will be big for me. Today was a good day, but Thursday will tell me a lot more."