When New York Jets safety Jim Leonhard fractured his right leg last year, head coach Rex Ryan made a promise to Leonard’s wife, Katie; no undue risk would be taken with regards to Leonhard. That meant, no more punt returns.
When rookie Jeremy Kerley fumbled a punt last week in Washington, Ryan’s promise went out the door. Leonard will be returning punts on Sunday against Kansas City.
“My wife has let him hear it a couple times,” Leonhard said. “And that’s good. You have to do that. That’s how you keep people in check.”
“I had to say, ‘Hey, have your wife call me,’ ” Ryan said. “It’s one of those things.”
Leonhard’s wife is pregnant with the couple’s first child, due in December.
Special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff said that Kerley will have an opportunity to return punts again.
“Deion Sanders couldn’t have caught that punt,” Westhoff said in defense of the rookie. “Nobody I’ve been around works harder than (Kerley).”
“Am I ruling Jeremy out as a returner? Absolutely not,” Westhoff said.