Plaxico Burress has finally returned to the practice field and is expected to play this Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. Yet, considering his slow start to camp due to his ankle injury, what are reasonable expectations for him the rest of the pre-season?
I wouldn’t expect the Jets to stretch Burress too thin on Sunday, even if the starters play into the second quarter. They should be content with a few series from him, along with a catch or two. I would expect them to throw him a safe, short pass early in the game to get him in the flow and then hopefully get the chance to get him involved in the red-zone.
The following week against the Giants, you know Burress will be raring to go and Rex Ryan is the type of coach who will make sure everything that can be done to get Burress a touchdown, will be done…even if it is only a pre-season game. Hopefully, by that point he can put together a full half and really get into the flow of the offense.
None of the starters usually play in the pre-season finale, although if Burress doesn’t get enough work the next two weeks, they could give him a few reps. You still have to wonder if he will be ready to handle 60-70 reps week one against the Cowboys. Even if he isn’t, Derrick Mason is more than capable of stepping in.
I never envisioned Burress as 70 reception type guy for the Jets this year. If he can give them around 50, I’d be satisfied as long as he is producing in the red-zone. With Tom Moore now helping out, there is no reason he shouldn’t be able to give the team 6-8 touchdowns, at minimum. More importantly, you hope that he begins coming on strong late in the season as he gets his legs fully back under him and is ready to become the dominant force he once was in the post-season.