Winslow Returns From Suspension With Playoff Aspirations
Florham Park, NJ - Most of the Jets returned to work after a week off, but Kellen Winslow returned from a five-week break and he returned with lofty aspirations.
Winslow was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. However what specific substance Winslow was suspended for we may never know.
It’s NFL policy to not publicly disclose which substance the player tested positive for and Winslow continues to tell the media that he’s still not sure how or why he failed the drug test and he’s waiting for a response from the NFLPA to identify the illegal substance.
“No. I haven’t (heard which substance he failed for). When I do I’ll take care of what I need to take care of. You know, I really don’t know what happened though.” Winslow said, “Sometimes you just have to be careful with what you take and with your allergies and all that type of good stuff so, stuff happens.”
Winslow said his knee feels as good as it did in the offseason so he expects it will hold up down the stretch of the season and said the suspension could end up as a blessing in disguise as he feels fresh and ready to finish out the season strong.
“Yeah, definitely. Any rest helps me, but yeah that is the upside.” Winslow said, “I am well rested and I feel fresh, so it does help.”
Winslow says he feels great and is ready to contribute in whatever capacity the team needs, but it sounds like he isn’t expecting to have the offensive game plan based around him.
“My situation here is role specific. We’re a different team than just a pass-happy team, we’re more of a read-option team. So, we’re really not throwing the ball that much.” Winslow said, “We’re more of a running team, play good defense and I’m a situational guy. When they need me to catch passes, and all that, they call my number.”
Most of the players shied away from any talk about a possible playoff run, but a veteran like Winslow left no doubt about what their goal is.
“Oh, for sure. Just take it one day at a time, you know it’s the ultimate goal to get to the Super Bowl.” Winslow said, “But get to the playoffs and seed well and see where we go from there.”
When asked what gives him the confidence that the Jets can be a playoff team, Winslow cited beating two, “elite,” teams in the Patriots and the Saints and said he feels that this team is coming together to peak at exactly the right time.
“Teams peak at certain times of the season and we’re kind of at that point where you want to make a decision, how good do you really want to be?” Winslow said, “And I’ve been on a lot of teams so, we’re a real good team defensively and we got a great running game and that’s what you want in the playoffs and that’s what goes far in the playoffs. So, we’re right there and we compete when we need to.”
Despite the playoff talk Winslow isn’t looking too far ahead, it’s still a one game at a time mindset which means the most important game on the schedule is the next one.
“It’s important, I think it’s important for us to win all the games.” Winslow said, “To place ourselves in the playoffs, take it one game at a time, but that’s our goal, to make the playoffs and go from there.”
One game at a time is still the mantra, but who wants to put limitations on a thing like win totals?
“I don’t see why we can’t win them all though.” Winslow said.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES:
In order to make room for Winslow the Jets released Rontez Miles. If Miles clears waivers, expect the Jets to sign him back to the practice squad in the next day or so.
Rex Ryan didn’t get very specific about the injury to Kerley, that’ll come on Wednesday, but it doesn’t appear the injury is as bad as expected. Ryan did say Kerley is out of the cast they put on him and in a sling, Ryan also said he’s not ready to rule Kerley out for this week. Don’t get too excited though, it’s highly unlikely Kerley will return this week, but it sounds like he will return much sooner than anyone expected.
Winslow probably won’t be the only receiving threat returning this week. Ryan said he, “expects’” and, “certainly hopes,” Santonio Holmes will be back this week. More information will come on this later in the week.