Jets’ Cromartie could play with knee injury

Updated: October 11, 2013, 3:54 PM ET

Kieran Darcy |

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes and cornerback Dee Milliner are officially out for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and tight end Kellen Winslow is doubtful. But cornerback Antonio Cromartie could play, despite suffering a knee injury Thursday.

Cromartie did not practice Friday but is being listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision, according to coach Rex Ryan.

Cromartie’s injury, being called a hyperextension, occurred during the portion of Thursday’s practice closed to the media.

“It was a noncontact injury,” Ryan said. “We were on the goal line, and he just went to change directions, and then he went straight down. His knee gave, he went straight down.”

Ryan called it “one of those hold-your-breath type deals,” but it clearly could have been far worse.

“Obviously there’s a big concern, but then later we found out that he’s gonna be OK,” the coach said. “I don’t know if he’ll play this game or not, but it seems like he’ll be OK.”

If Cromartie can’t play, Kyle Wilson will start at cornerback along with Darrin Walls. Isaiah Trufant will be elevated to nickel back.

Holmes, the team’s top wide receiver, will miss his second straight game because of foot and hamstring injuries. Milliner, the team’s first-round draft pick, will miss his third game in a row because of a hamstring injury, but he said he’s feeling better each day.

“Hopefully we’ll have him next week,” Ryan said.

As for Winslow, the Jets are managing his practice reps, given his surgically repaired right knee. But that wasn’t why Winslow missed practice Friday.

“It was not because of his knee,” Ryan said. “He was excused. I excused him today from practice.”

When pressed for further information, Ryan was evasive.

“I’d rather not get into it,” the coach said. “I excused him, I’ll just say that.”

Winslow leads the team in receptions this season, with 17 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns. But he got significantly fewer snaps in Monday night’s win over the Atlanta Falcons, had just one pass thrown to him, and reportedly expressed frustration on the sideline, according to quarterback Geno Smith.

Winslow declined to speak to reporters after the game, and he has not spoken to the media this week.

Ryan said Winslow has not expressed frustration to him directly, and he wasn’t sure whether Winslow has complained to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. But Ryan expects Winslow to remain with the team.

“What I can tell you about Kellen is, he’s done a tremendous job here,” Ryan said. “He’s a great competitor.”

One other Jets player questionable for Sunday’s game is reserve offensive lineman Oday Aboushi, who has a knee injury.

Kieran Darcy is an staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.

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