The recent signing of veteran tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. has been a welcome addition as the Jets were in need of more depth at the position. As noted in JetNation’s June 11th minicamp report Winslow was impressive during his first tryout practice, so much so, it seemed obvious he would not be leaving without a contract.
Observing Winslow during day two of camp it appeared the Jets had seen enough and throttled the tight end’s workload back. Having only played one game during the 2012 season as well as a history of knee problems the Jets were taking a cautious approach not wanting to push Winslow so early.
He’s (Winslow) not in football shape yet, but he’s closing in on it.
“Not yet. I guess for minicamps and OTAs and that sort of stuff, yeah — but not even close,” Winslow Jr. said. “That’s why you have to keep training and get ready for training camp. Once you put the pads on, it’s a whole different game. But 7-on-7 and stuff like that, yeah, it felt good.”
Winslow mentioned that he had been “cycling” for conditioning and will increase the volume of workouts to be in shape for training camp. He will also be attending “Jets-West” an informal practice organized yearly by quarterback Mark Sanchez which takes place in California.
Starting 15 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, Winslow led the team in receptions that season, and had 218 receptions while starting 40 games from 2009-2011.
With pretty much a year off from football, turning 30 in July and past injury issues the Jets will need to utilize all the tight ends on the roster in an effort to keep Winslow healthy and fresh through the rigors of a 16 game season. While having the experience, talent and ability the Jets need at tight end the team will need to be conscious of how much playing time he can handle to remain productive throughout the season.