After inking a four-year, $12.66 million deal on Sunday, New York Jets rookie cornerback Dee Milliner reported to training camp early Monday morning. Milliner is expected to take his conditioning test before the end of the week and join his teammates on the practice field soon after.
Almost five months removed from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, the former Alabama Crimson Tide star doesn’t admit to feeling any ill-effects from the procedure.
“I’m 100 percent back,” admitted Milliner. “Like I said, when I get back on the field, (I’m) just listening to the trainers. You just can’t jump out there, jump into things and go full throttle hitting people and stuff.”
The Jets completed their first day of practice in full pads on Sunday without Milliner; despite severe storms delaying the start of their session. Even though he’s yet to take the field for Gang Green, Milliner is convinced he can hit the ground running up in Cortland.
“I’ve seen the plays, been a part of them at practice, watching, learning. I just haven’t been on the field but it’s football so you get back out there, get back in the roll of things,” Miller said.
New York’s top draft pick endured a lengthy negotiation period between the team’s front office and his agent that spilled over into training camp. Couple that with Miller’s rehab from his shoulder injury and the Jets young defensive back is itching to put the pads back on.
“Yes, it’s been very much the longest time,”said Milliner of the past few months off the football field. “But like I said, you’re going to go through times like this. You have injuries. You get through it. I’m just happy to be back.”
Head coach Rex Ryan told reporters he was chomping at the bit to get a healthy Milliner back on the gridiron and into the swing of things.
The Jets fielded questions from the media right at the onset of training camp regarding Milliner’s absence and impending arrival in Cortland. The No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Milliner is glad to put both his shoulder rehab and contract negotiations behind him.
“I knew my teammates were going to be up here and I knew they were going to want me back to,” admitted Milliner. “Some of them talked to me, called me, so they were concerned about me.”
Patience is the name of the game when it comes to Milliner’s injury, but once he gets the nod from the Jets’ medical staff, he’ll be ready to put the pedal to the metal.
“If they want me to go full throttle as soon as I get back, I’m ready for that,” Milliner said.
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland
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