Jets continue to play it safe with Burress over ankle injury

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Plaxico Burress was very limited in practice again Thursday after missing a morning walkthrough for a personal matter, but coach Rex Ryan hopes the wide receiver will play in the New York Jets' preseason opener.

Burress, nursing an ankle injury, wasn't at the walkthrough, but his absence was planned, Ryan said. Burress arrived at the team's facility by noon and was on the practice field for the afternoon session after the team was off Wednesday.

Burress participated in some individual drills, but he wasn't involved in 11-on-11 or goal-line drills.

Burress, who signed with the Jets on July 31 after spending 20 months in prison on a gun charge, is recovering after rolling his left ankle last week while running routes with fellow wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Burress didn't participate in any team drills Tuesday after being in three Monday.

"He had a little more swelling in the ankle, and that was to be expected," Ryan said. "That's the thing you try to avoid -- how much do you push him? If we would've really pushed him, it could've really been a problem."

Ryan and Burress have both described the injury as "minor," but the receiver has seen very little practice time with quarterback Mark Sanchez since joining the team. Still, there's hope Burress will play in the preseason opener at Houston on Monday night, barring a setback.

"I'd like to see him get out there for a few snaps," Ryan said. "I'm expecting him to play some."

Sanchez and Burress went to dinner together in Manhattan on Wednesday night, just the two of them, to help build their off-the-field rapport. Sanchez paid for the meal after losing a bet to Burress -- they had a goal-post drill after a practice in which Burress made it and Sanchez missed.

"What Plaxico and I have talked about is that when he's ready to go, we just have to hit it hard," Sanchez said. "To me, taking that extra time to watch film together, that stuff is paying off right now, and now, we have to go practice it on the field. There's plenty of time to get things right. I think the most important thing is that we just don't waste the time when he gets back."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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