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Holmes 'doubtful' for Jets' preseason opener

Jets-Holmes' Ribs

CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) - Santonio Holmes will likely miss New York's preseason opener at Cincinnati because of a rib injury, leaving the Jets without their top wide receiver.

Holmes was not practicing Monday and there was no immediate timetable for his return after he injured a rib in the team's scrimmage Saturday night. Coach Rex Ryan said initial indications were that Holmes had a broken rib, but X-rays revealed no fracture.

We're lucky he never had the fracture like I thought, so that's a good sign,'' Ryan said before practice Monday.Whether he plays this week, I'm not real sure. I'm not going to rule him out, but I would say it's probably doubtful. We'll see.''

Holmes was apparently injured on a third-down play Saturday night when he was hit by cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who earlier in the week made some waves when he said he thought he was the team's second-best wide receiver.

``He got hit pretty good,'' Ryan said.

Holmes finished with three catches for 22 yards in the scrimmage at Cortland Stadium after not participating in team drills for the Jets (No. 17 in the AP Pro32) the previous few days with what he called ``a lot of soreness in the body.''

Ryan added that Holmes is obviously tender'' and said the wide receiver told himsomething about cartilage,'' but wasn't clear on the exact nature of the injury.

Bart Scott, I thought, gave him some sound advice when he said: `Put some barbecue sauce on that rib,''' Ryan said smiling.We'll see how that goes. Just a loving teammate, Bart is.''

Despite Holmes' absence and various nagging injuries to other wide receivers, Ryan doesn't think the Jets will be actively trying to pursue help at the position.

``Let's see some of these young guys step up,'' Ryan said.

Stephen Hill, the team's second-round draft pick in April, has been mostly quiet other than a few impressive catches early in training camp, and Ryan is eager to see what Jordan White, a seventh-rounder, can do during Holmes' absence.

Second-year receiver Jeremy Kerley has missed all of camp so far with what was originally called a tweaked hamstring, but Ryan indicated the injury is a bit more serious.

I think that hamstring is not just a tweak but a pulled hamstring,'' he said.I'm not real sure on it, but I don't anticipate him being out there (Monday).''

Ryan singled out Kerley earlier in camp as someone who disappointed in terms of picking up Tony Sparano's offense.

I'm concerned because I think he needs to get and, when he can, show that he has the system down,'' Ryan said.That's my biggest concern. This guy at the end of the year was about as effective as any receiver we had, playing that slot receiver. We hope he can get back to that. And, he did a tremendous job as a punt returner, so clearly we need this young man.''

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