“It’s great coming out here, having the family night. The Jets fans have been out here in Long Island they bring a lot of energy and it’s great to come out here,” Muhammad Wilkerson said of the Jets returning to their Long Island roots.
Wilkerson, who is recovering from a hamstring injury participated in team drills and took second team reps in 11-on-11 drills for the first time since August 2.
“He’s feeling a lot better, he was moving pretty good so we’ll bring him a long slowly but he’ll practice this week and pending any setbacks he’ll play this week,” head coach Todd Bowles said of Wilkerson’s status.
With Wilkerson being out, Bowles said that while he is in good condition, Wilkerson still needs to get back in “football shape.”
For Wilkerson, getting back into football shape and catching up on what he has missed due to his injury, will come with the reps he will get in practice.
“It’s all about the reps. I just need practice reps to get in the flow. I haven’t been out there in a week…I just got to get caught up and I’ll do that.”
In addition to seeing Wilkerson practice for the first time since August 2, the 11,000 plus fans that packed Hofstra University’s James M Shuart Stadium were treated to a non-contact 11-on-11 scrimmage.
While there were plenty of highlight plays, the real star of the night was the Jets’ Long Island faithful.
“Long Island supports us, a lot of people support the Jets out here…it was good to see fans come out on a Sunday and support so it’s awesome,” said Bronx native and Hofstra University graduate Willie Colon.
The crowd was electric throughout the night, something that was not lost on Bowles.
“I think it’s great for the fans because that’s where they started, right here,” said Bowles of practicing at Hofstra. “It’s been awhile since they’ve been back here and they left the place [in 2008] so you’ve got a lot of loyal fans that came out here to see these guys and we really appreciate it.”
For Long Island Jets fans like Paul Drummond III, it was a chance to watch get a glimpse of the Jets, get back into football season with his family.
“It gets us back into the season start. It gets you thinking football all the time,” Drummond III said of the practice.
Drummond III who was at the practice with his grandson Paul Drummond V and his friend Jason Springsteen said they were also hoping to snag a few autographs and enjoy the practice.
“That’s what we’re looking to do [get autographs] “They [Drummond V and Springsteen] like the Jets and it’s a hometown feel and that’s what it should be.” Drummond III said.