Florham Park, NJ – Heading into a game against a quarterback who has topped 4,700 passing yards on the season, the Jets need as many capable bodies in the secondary as possible. On Tuesday, safety James Ihedigbo continued to make strides following a right knee and a high ankle sprain that has limited the player the last couple of games.
The Jets held Ihedigbo out of Sunday’s regular season finale against the Bills as a precaution.
“If I needed to play, I would have been able to and could have,” Ihedigbo said. “But the coaches wanted to hold me out and let me rest up and heal for the playoffs.”
They need Ihedigbo now more than ever, especially as the team lost safety Jim Leonhard on Dec. 4, 2010 with a season ending injury following a collision in practice. The opponent on Saturday dictates the need for Ihedigbo’s availability.
In last year’s playoffs, Manning was sensational in 30-17 AFC Championship Game win over the Jets. The Colts quarterback slung his way for 377 passing yards and three touchdowns, finishing the game with a 126.7 passing rating. The Jets secondary needs to limit Manning and the return of the hard-hitting “Digs,” known as a bit of a headhunter from his safety position, is a boost to the unit.
Ihedigbo seemed to move well in practice and was only sporting some mild ankle tape in the locker room as he walked out.
“I feel good, a little sore but good,” Ihedigbo said. “I’m close to 100% and doing better, the best I’ve felt in awhile. It hurts a little, but you’re always going to hurt a little at this point of the season.”