Coles, who racked up 159 all-purpose yards Sunday against Buffalo before he suffered a sprained left knee, is listed as questionable for this Sunday's game against Miami. Herman Edwards said Wednesday that Hatchette would likely get the start if Coles isn't ready for the Dolphins.
Hatchette expected to start for the Jets when he signed as a free agent in the off-season, but he's been buried on the bench thanks to Coles' blazing performance since camp opened in July. After four games, Hatchette has just one catch and appeared at one point to be surpassed on the depth chart by Kevin Swayne.
Hatchette has been forced into invisibility in the past—he did spend four years with the Vikings and their All-World receiving corps—and Edwards admits the turn of events in New York are "…probably frustrating for [Hatchette] a little bit because he came in with high expectations. Laveranues, just quite frankly, has made more plays than [Hatchette], and Matthew understands that.
"I talked to him last week and he was fine," Edwards said. "I said ‘Just hang in there and keep going, everything's going to be OK. It's a long season, you're going to get your shots.'"
His last one might begin Sunday.
STILL SEEKING PUNT RETURNERS: Stop us if you've heard this before: The Jets are looking to upgrade their punt return game.
With Chad Morton battling a tricky high ankle sprain, Edwards said the Jets expected to work out at least one free agent punt returner on Wednesday. He declined to identify the Jets' target but said the renewed interest in acquiring help from the outside stems from the uncertainty regarding Morton's high ankle sprain.
"Is it a week away or is he coming back this week?" Edwards said of Morton, who is listed as questionable on the injury report and was expected to test the ankle during Wednesday's practice. "We don't know."
For now, Aaron Glenn remains the Jets' top punt returner in Morton's absence.
INJURY REPORT: In addition to Coles and Morton, Nick Ferguson (foot) is questionable and Santana Moss (knee), who ran this week for the first time since his surgery in August, is out.
Tune in Sunday morning to the "New York Football Report," which can be heard from 10 to 11 a.m. on the radio at WDGA-850 AM in West Palm Beach and online at wdga.com. Jets Confidential Editor Dan Leberfeld and Giants Insider Editor Ken Palmer will co-host the show, which is sponsored by sportbet.com and will run every Sunday morning during the NFL season.