CORTLAND -- Santonio Holmes casted more doubt on his future by refusing to say if he’ll play at all this season.
“I can’t answer that question right now,” Holmes said when directly asked if he expects to play at all in 2013. “It’s the first day of training camp. How are you going to answer that question? They don’t know… I had two surgeries. All I can do is rehab right now.”
Holmes, who is on the active/PUP list, has undergone two surgeries since suffering a severe LisFranc foot injury early last season. On Thursday, he admitted that he’s done some full-weight bearing straight-line running, but there’s still plenty of rehab left.
Can he see himself playing between now and the end of the regular season?
“I want to, but I have to do what the foot says to do,” Holmes said. “If it’s not ready to roll, it’s not ready to roll.”
Rex Ryan praised Holmes’ conditioning – he’s lost 7-8 pounds, the coach estimated – but it’s unclear when the team’s best wide receiver will be back. Based on what Holmes said on Thursday, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s not ready to go for the season opener against the Buccaneers on Sept. 8.
“There’s always concern, but I feel confident that we will have him back,” Ryan said. “Now when that is? I’m not sure, but I feel confident that he’ll be out there.”
When will Holmes, who spent the first practice on the stationary bike and working with trainers off to the side, be ready to practice?
“I don’t know,” Holmes said. “Whenever the doctors clear me to go out and perform will be the day that I go out and show up for practice.”
“It’s not frustrating at all,” Holmes said. “I have to deal with what I have to do deal with, which is the injury I suffered last year. I had to go through two surgeries and now I’m recovering. That’s all I can do and go through the process.”
Holmes, who took a paycut this offseason, is taking a big-picture approach to his rehab. It’s unlikely that he’ll rush to make any sort of artificial deadline.
“I have to be careful (and) take it one day at a time,” he said. “That’s all I can do right now… worry about today and when tomorrow comes, go in and do everything possible to rehab.”
In the meantime, he’s studying Marty Mornhinweg’s playbook and encouraging teammates at practice.
“I have to stick to the basics, which is the things that I would do if I were playing right now as opposed to the things that I can’t do,” Holmes said. “And I can’t worry about the things that I can’t do right now.”
Is he confident that he can still be same player that he used to be?
“I can’t worry about that right now,” he said.