FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- This time last week Santonio Holmes wouldn't even commit to playing in the opener against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Tuesday, Holmes said he was frustrated he only played 45 snaps in his first game in almost a year in the Jets' 18-17 win over the Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium.
"I was frustrated for myself, and respecting the coaching staff and the decision that they made that I understood from the beginning, that I had to play a certain amount of plays because it was my first game back," Holmes said in a press conference on Wednesday. "I wanted to play more myself, but I had to understand what they had planned for me."
Leading up to Sunday's game, the first time Holmes played since suffering a Lisfranc fracture on Sept. 30, 2012 and later undergoing surgery, Holmes was noncommittal when discussing whether he'd play. Holmes had been practicing, looking smooth in the portion of practices open to the media, but would always downplay how he looked when he talked with reporters.
Holmes said he played 45 snaps on Sunday, although most places had him listed as playing 44. Holmes caught just one pass for 13 yards on three targets, and was shadowed for most of his afternoon by former Jet Darrelle Revis. Holmes said he and Revis didn't talk while on the field.
With the coaching staff keeping him to a limited role, Holmes sat out 28 plays on Sunday. He played the third-most snaps of any receiver or tight end, behind receiver Stephen Hill and tight end Kellen Winslow.
"I honestly didn't focus on it but I kind of got frustrated with myself for coming out of the game a few times but that was because of the respect the coaches and the trainers had talked about that I had to understand that they were going to play me accordingly," Holmes said.
Holmes, who sat out all preseason, believed he could have played more snaps.
"It's football season. It's go time," Holmes said. "It's no point of holding anything back now but I have to respect the decision the trainers and coaching staff have made."
He added: "We won the game and I think that's the most important thing. Not about how many snaps I played or how many catches I was able to make."
Holmes said he "survived" the first game and doesn't know whether he'll play more snaps when the Jets battle the Patriots on Thursday in Foxboro. He doesn't believe the short turnaround will be tough on his foot, and credited the trainers and wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal for helping him through practice. He still describes himself as "day-to-day", as is the Jets standard line about injured players, and doesn't know if he's ready to play 60-70 snaps.
"Won't know till it happens," Holmes said.
Jets coach Rex Ryan liked what he's seen out of Holmes.
"I think it's good that he got that first game in and hopefully now he can even just take off from there," Ryan said. "So that's what we're hoping."