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Jets giving Burress ample time to recover from ankle injury

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets still are playing it safe with Plaxico Burress.

The wide receiver was held out of team drills in practice Tuesday as he recovers from an ankle injury. That came one day after Burress had his busiest day of training camp while participating in a handful of 11-on-11 plays.

"I don't think full yet," Jets coach Rex Ryan said before practice of Burress' potential workload. "We're just trying to avoid that big setback, but he's doing more and more."

It doesn't appear to be a major setback for Burress, who tweaked his left ankle while running routes last Wednesday.

Because of heavy rains and lightning in the area, the Jets moved indoors for practice on their synthetic turf field. It was uncertain if the surface also was a factor in the lightened workload.

Burress did individual drills and appeared to show no ill effects from the injury. But he rested on one knee at times during team drills and watched as the offense ran plays. He also stood next to Santonio Holmes and newly signed Derrick Mason and chatted with them.

After serving 20 months in prison on a gun charge, Burress signed a one-year, $3.017 million contract July 31. He missed a few practices last week before sneaking in for one team drill Sunday before Ryan caught him and made him sit out the rest.

It's uncertain if Burress will be able to play in the team's preseason opener at Houston next Monday night. His teammates are eager to see him healthy and at full speed.

"When you see him, to me, I've never seen a guy his size move as quick as he does," cornerback Antonio Cromartie said of the 6-foot-5 Burress. "He's definitely quick. I'm just anxious for him to go out and show everybody that he can still play at this level."

First-round draft pick Muhammad Wilkerson sat out team drills as a precaution with an undisclosed minor hip injury. The team said the defensive end, already designated a starter by Ryan, could have returned to practice if necessary.

Running back Joe McKnight was sidelined with an ankle injury that isn't believed to be serious.

Meanwhile, Mason has looked solid in his two practices with the Jets, making a few terrific grabs on long passes from Mark Sanchez. The 37-year-old wide receiver signed with the Jets on Sunday after choosing them over the Baltimore Ravens, his team the past six seasons, and the Tennessee Titans.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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