NY Jets Rumors: Muhammad Wilkerson Return Helps Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson as Antonio Cromartie, Calvin Pryor Struggle with Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine

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Aug 25, 2015 09:01 AM EDT
Muhammad Wilkerson
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson celebrates a sack in 2014."

The New York Jets have one thing working for them while the offense continues to start and stop and that is their defense. Under new head coach Todd Bowles, the defense was expected to be a major priority moving forward into the new season and it is starting to show. Things are only expected to get better as the Jets got a welcomed sight on the football field with the return of Muhammad Wilkerson.

Wilkerson has had an interest start to the 2015 season. The defensive end began the year demanding a new contract as he enters the final year of his deal. He held out until mandatory minicamp where he promptly injured his hamstring and had yet to be seen in training camp. According to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, Wilkerson made his debut on the field and is expected to play in the preseason game against the Giants next weekend. According to Bowles, Wilkerson could play the entire first half if he feels healthy enough, something the defensive end needs.

"I hope so, but my hamstring ... I have to make sure it's good throughout the week," Wilkerson said, via ESPN.com. "It felt good today. That's why I got some reps with the team. Hopefully, I'll continue to progress. I need practice reps to get in the flow with my teammates. I haven't been out there in weeks. The guys have been installing and I haven't been out there. I need to catch up a little bit."

The return of Wilkerson will be critical to the Jets' defense. The defensive end will be a starter and the main piece to the pass rush. Sheldon Richardson will be out for the first four games of the season making it critical that Wilkerson is on the field. The Jets do have rookie Leonard Williams. After an unimpressive debut, Williams looked much strong against the Atlanta Falcons and should play a significant role early on.

There are still lingering questions about the seconardy. While Darrelle Revis is clearly the top cornerback, Antonio Cromartie has struggled as the No.2 guy. According to the New York Post, Cromartie continues to get beat by Eric Decker on the field. The cornerback stressed it was only practice and he would be fine on the field. Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist are also struggling, meaning the Jets must hope things begin to turn around as the first game gets closer.

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