FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Slowly, the Jets' receiving corps is coming together. It's about baby steps.
Santonio Holmes (ribs) and Jeremy Kerley, both of whom missed the first two preseason games, returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis. There's a chance one or both could play Sunday night against the Panthers.
Holmes, wearing the red non-contact jersey, took five reps in team drills. He didn't make any catches, but he seemed to be running without any discomfort. QB Mark Sanchez targeted one pass for Holmes, a miscommunication in which Holmes cut to the sideline and Sanchez threw long. Holmes did make a nice, leaping grab in 7-on-7 drills.
"I think he's progressing," Rex Ryan said of Holmes. "Hopefully, he can do a little bit more, and hopefully we get him out there to play some this week."
Holmes wasn't available after practice to discuss his prospects for playing this week. Kerley, also limited to about a handful of reps, said he's about 90 percent. He's hopeful of playing, but he wants to be careful not to aggravate his hamstring, which was slightly torn.
"I want to play the game, but I don't want to over-do it and set myself back," he said.
WAYNE'S WORLD: RT Wayne Hunter lined up with the starters in practice, but he split reps with backup Austin Howard. Unofficially, Hunter took 11 reps, compared to Howard's 18. Look for Howard to see some action with the starters on Sunday.
After practice, the embattled Hunter declined to speak with reporters.
INJURY REPORT: WR Patrick Turner left in the middle of practice and didn't return. Turner said he rolled his ankle and would be fine. ... RB Joe McKnight didn't practice because of shin splints. ... WR Chaz Schilens (ankle), S Eric Smith (knee), NT Sione Pouha (back), LB Ricky Sapp (ankle) and backup TE Jeff Cumberland (concussion) didn't practice.
OFFENSIVE BLUES: This was another so-so day for the offense. Sanchez completed 13 of 20 passes, ending a two-minute drill at the end of practice with a near-interception. He put one right into the hands of LB Garrett McIntyre, but he dropped it. Sanchez's best moment came in a 7-on-7 drill, when he hit WR Eron Riley for a 50-yard TD over CB Antonio Cromartie. It was a nice day for Riley, who stood out with a few plays.
Backup QB Tim Tebow was 2-for-6, with three sacks.
NICK OF TIME: Two days after saying he didn't expect his switch to fullback to be permanent, LB Nick Bellore showed up for practice wearing No. 48 in the white (offense) jersey. Uh, it might be temporarily permanent.
STEP BY STEP: The offense spent a lot of time in walk-through mode, with the quarterbacks and the receivers running through plays and routes. One of the areas they want to clean up is route running, making sure receivers hit their landmarks and find the right depth.
BIG BLUE VISITOR: Former Giants RB Tiki Barber watched practice from the VIP section. No, this had nothing to do with trying out for a roster spot. It was strictly a social visit.