Calvin Pryor was cleared for physical activities but spent much of Thursday's practice playing spectator. The Jets' first-round draft pick warmed up with his green jersey and helmet on but was forced to don a red non-contact pinnie as he watched from the sideline.
Rex Ryan said Wednesday that he had "no idea" when the safety, who suffered a head injury during last Saturday's practice, will return to action. But the sight of Pryor in pads could mean his health is headed in the right direction.
The time away from the field has slowed his growth somewhat, defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said. "He's a little ways behind, but he has time to catch up," he said of the former standout defensive back at Louisville. "He was doing well prior to, before we got the pads on. We expect him to come back. He's been paying attention in meetings, but it has to transfer to the field, but we expect him to be a pretty integral part of the defense."
Even with Pryor sidelined, Ryan said he's pleased with his current crop of young safeties: Josh Bush, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Rontez Miles. Said Ryan, "It's an outstanding group."
Thurman: Talk is cheap
Thurman is a man of few words, and he isn't one for hyperbole. So when the former Super Bowl champ was asked about Dee Milliner's assertion that he's the NFL's best cornerback, Thurman offered a rather frank assessment.
"Dee has got to do what he has got to do in terms of getting better, working at his craft," said Thurman, who helped shape the careers of Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and former Jet Darrelle Revis. "As far as what he said, that doesn't bother me because it doesn't mean anything. You have to go out and play. Nobody goes out and talks their way through the National Football League. You have to perform your way through this league."
Bilal Powell and Johnny Patrick (hamstrings), Garrett McIntyre (rest day), Alex Agreed (chest), Antwan Barnes (PUP), Brandon Hardin (foot), Quincy Enunwa (hip) and Zach Thomson (shoulder) did not practice. Third-round CB Dexter McDougle was pulled out of a drill because of a groin injury and David Nelson (groin) also was limited . . . Asked which player has surprised him thus far, Ryan said DL Kerry Hyder has "popped out of nowhere" and been "a pleasant surprise."