Ward injured/Kendall update

A heaping helping of training camp Whispers:

Derrick Ward, one of the Jets four seventh round picks, sustained the most serious injury in camp thus far, when he went down with a high ankle sprain on Thursday. He could be out for 2-3 weeks. With Ward out, third-year running back Johnathan Reese received more reps, and had a solid morning practice. Actually Reese, a Columbia graduate, has had an excellent training camp, and has a good chance at making the team as a sixth running back. At the very least he can go on the practice squad again, where he has one year of eligibility remaining. Reese looks quicker this summer than the previous two.

"Johnathan Reese is doing phenomenal," said Jets tailback Curtis Martin. "This is the third year I have seen him and this is the best he has looked. He is running like a new man. He doesn't look like the same guy that I played with last year and the year before that." . . .

The 31-year-old Martin once again talked about training on a mountain in California this off-season. It was like visiting the fountain of youth for the veteran.

"I trained at the Santa Monica stairs out in Los Angeles," said Martin. "I took a few trips out there to run the steps all week. I came back for the minicamp and I felt so powerful. I feel so strong. I feel like I have my burst. That is what those steps do for me. I really relish them." . . .

Defensive tackle Josh Evans sat out of the practices again on Wednesday, but his knee injury is just a bruise and there is no structural damage. He should be back soon . . .

Linebacker Jonathan Vilma sat out of practice for the second strain day with a calf injury, but should be back in the next few days. It's not serious . . .

Rookie safety Jarrell Weaver has the makings of a special teams standout. At 6-3, 206 pounds, with sub 4.4 speed and top shelf toughness, he has made a number of impressive hits this summer on kick coverage.

"When players here a big thud in practice, they say, there is #32 again," said Herman Edwards . . .

Linebacker Sam Cowart said today there were communication problems last year between Ted Cottrell and Herman Edwards on defense, and this hurt the unit.

"There was a little uncertainty," admitted Edwards . . .

The best move of the Jets off-season looks like the signing of wide receiver Justin McCareins.

"He is an exciting player," said quarterback Chad Pennington. "We got a steal, no doubt about it."

It probably does qualify as a steal since his former team, the Tennessee Titans, didn't want to lose him, but were forced to trade him because of major cap problems. If the Titans had their drothers they never would have shipped him elsewhere . . .

It looks like free agent guard/center Pete Kendall is going to take a little time to make up his mind about his next employer. Like a lot of veterans, he probably prefers to miss all or part of two-a-day practices. The Jets do have some interest in him, but early reports have the Detroit Lions as the leading candidate to land the services of the former Seattle Seahawk and Arizona Cardinal. Right now the Lions have former Jet David Loverne starting at left guard, and probably want an upgrade. While the Jets are presently starting Brent Smith at left guard, with his two reconstructed knee, he would probably be better suited to a backup role. Kendall would be an upgrade over Smith who has mobility issues due to his problematic knees.

"There are a lot of teams vying for him," said Edwards.

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