"It was the right decision," Cotchery said. "I worked as hard as I could to give myself a chance to play in this game, but I didn't make enough progress."
Cotchery suffered a slight tear to his left groin during the Jets' 26-20 overtime win at Cleveland last Sunday. The injury occurred moments before he made a terrific diving catch, hobbling along to finish his route, for a first down in the third quarter.
"I feel a lot better," Cotchery said. "I was able to do a lot of running. I picked it up a lot as far as straight-ahead speed. I didn't do any cutting or anything like that, but today was another huge step."
Cotchery added that there is no pain, but the area is still sensitive. Ryan was encouraged by what he saw from Cotchery, saying he was "looking pretty good."
Cotchery missed two games last season with an injured hamstring, an experience that helped him with his current injury.
"I wasn't smart last year with the hammy," he said, adding that he rushed himself back. "Sometimes you have to move yourself out of the way. That's what we tried to do this time around."
"We've had him working on some man-to-man," Ryan told the newspaper. "We'll use him at running back, wide receiver, cornerback. Whatever it takes. He's a good athlete. He's from USC, like Dennis Thurman. They speak the same language."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.