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Hamstring injury could keep Jets WR Cotchery out vs. Dolphins

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery missed practice Friday because a hamstring injury and could sit out Monday night's game against the Miami Dolphins, according to coach Rex Ryan.

"That's a possibility," Ryan said. "I'm expecting him to play, but that's a definite possibility."

It was unclear which of Cotchery's legs is affected. He was in sweat pants during practice and wasn't in the Jets' locker room during media availability.

2009 Statistics
Receptions: 23

Yards: 356

Touchdowns: 1

"The hamstring's still bothering him some, so we'll see," Ryan said. "I'm definitely not ruling him out, but he's not 100 percent right now."

Cornerback Donald Strickland (right ankle) also didn't practice for the Jets, and safety Kerry Rhodes (knee), cornerback Lito Sheppard (right quadriceps), right tackle Damien Woody (right foot) and wide receiver David Clowney (personal reasons) were limited.

Cotchery is off to a terrific start this season with 23 catches for 356 yards and one touchdown, and it would be a major blow to the Jets' offense if he were sidelined.

The Jets were eager to see Cotchery on the field Monday night starting opposite newly acquired Braylon Edwards. New York traded wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, linebacker Jason Trusnik and two 2010 draft picks to the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday in exchange for Edwards.

"We had a clause in that (trade) where we'd bring Stuckey back," Ryan quipped when asked who would play in Cotchery's place if he can't go. "No, we'll have David Clowney, Brad Smith and Wallace Wright step up."

Edwards, a Pro Bowl selection two years ago, gives the Jets a legitimate deep threat who can relieve double teams from Cotchery and tight end Dustin Keller. Edwards has thoroughly impressed Ryan in just two practices.

"Today was, well, ask his teammates what they thought of today's practice from him," Ryan said. "He's probably going to struggle this week. I wouldn't even bother. I'd just put one guy on him, and that's all I'd do if it was me."

So, he looked pretty good, huh?

"I've got no comment," Ryan said with a grin. "He's decent. Let's just put it that way. He's a decent receiver."

Added Keller: "I'm not going to tell any superhero stories. He didn't literally jump over anybody, but he made some good adjustments to the ball."

Edwards' new teammates have quickly warmed to him, especially after seeing him perform in practice Friday.

"He caught some deep balls," defensive end Shaun Ellis said. "He told me it's like being in a bad dream for five years, and all of the sudden, you wake up to a new life. I guess for him, this is a new feeling and he's getting a fresh start. He's definitely going to add another dimension to our team and our offense."

At 6-foot-3, Edwards is the tallest receiver on the Jets' active roster. Whether Cotchery plays Monday or not, Edwards' presence is expected to help open the run game because teams will have to account for his ability to stretch the field.

"They threw him a lot of balls today and he caught all of them," cornerback Darrelle Revis said. "He's looking good. It's just crazy that he's coming from another team and is that explosive already."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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