Brian Costello @BrianCoz
Ivory leaves Jets practice with tight hamstring #nyj: http://nyp.st/13wfnzi via @nypost
Ivory leaves Jets practice with tight hamstring
CORTLAND -- Chris Ivory was not going for irony on Wednesday when he said, “I kind of feel I’m starting off on the wrong foot.’’
The former Saints running back, whom the Jets acquired in a April trade, has actually gotten his first training camp as a Jet off on the wrong leg, hobbled by a hamstring injury that has kept him from practicing full since camp opened last week.
On Wednesday, Ivory thought he was ready to make a breakthrough, joining the other running backs on the field for full practice, but that did not last long as his hamstring tightened up, forcing him to the sideline for rehab.
Ivory practiced Monday, his first session of training camp, and when he appeared on the field Wednesday it looked like he was ready to practice full for the first time. Soon after practice began, during individual drills, his hamstring tightened and that was it for the day.
“Hamstrings are tricky,’’ Ivory said. “It can feel good and you can go out there like I did today and I thought I was ready, but I’m not ready. So it’s a feel thing. I don’t want to push it and make it a two-week injury. When it’s fixed I want to be able to stay out there and not go back and reinjure it.’’
With no true incumbent back in camp, Ivory’s presence is one that Jets coaches and management are eager to see, because the 222-pound battering-ram-style runner should be the favorite to be the starter _ if he can stay healthy. Neither returners Bilal Powell nor Joe McKnight have exactly wowed anyone this camp.
In three seasons with the Saints, Ivory averaged 5.1 yards per carry but started just eight games. Last December, he suffered a hamstring injury after he had played five games and averaged 5.4 yards on 36 carries with two TDs.
He is clearly frustrated, but has tried to stay positive.
“I haven’t practice yet, so it’s not like I was out there and then I got hurt,’’ he said. “I had a problem before I got here. It’s one of those things I’m just trying to correct now, so when I do get out there and I am ready at 100-percent the big thing is me staying healthy. Once I get to that point and I can remain healthy people will look past all of this.’’
Ivory called it “very important’’ to bury himself in the playbook while he’s missing physical reps.
“I’ve got to be mentally sharp so when I do get out here and run the plays I’ll be ready,’’ he said. “I’m familiar (with the playbook). I don’t have everything down engrained, but I’m still working on it every day continuing to get mentally sharp.’’
Asked if he feels he has something to prove as a new player on a new team, Ivory said, “You’ve always got something to prove. I’ve got to go out there and show my worth.’’
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