It has been 11 months since Santonio Holmes suffered a season ending injury. According to Chris Wesseling of NFL.com, Holmes revealed that his Lisfranc fracture was diagnosed as a Grade 4 injury, which is the most serious variety. He had a joint separation and a muscle tear in the middle of his foot, according to ESPNNewYork.com. A plate was removed in a March follow-up surgery, but two screws will remain in his foot permanently. (June 16, 2013 article)
Very few details came out about Holmes’ rehab progress throughout the offseason and through mini-camps, so little information that some, like this article from Pro Football Talk, were questioning whether he was milking his injury. The media has always been harsh with Holmes because he doesn’t give them information and in turn he loathes and doesn’t trust them. As training camp opened on July 26 Holmes made himself available to the media and when asked if he would be ready for the season he said:
On Friday, Holmes was asked if he’d even be ready for the season. “I can’t answer that question right now,” Holmes said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “I have to do what the foot says.” (NFL.com Gregg Rosenthal July 26, 2013)
That made Jets fans queasy and led us to believe that Holmes might not be back for a long time. A couple of weeks later on August 12th, Holmes talked about being ready for Week 1 with Seth Walder of the New York Daily News, he said “I can’t really count that far ahead right now,” Holmes said of Sept. 8 opener. “I have to go with the steps that are in front of me, which is getting better today, look forward to tomorrow.”
He added that he has not been able to run yet. More quotes that made it seem that Holmes was far off in his recovery time. Things began to come into focus the next day when a fan caught Holmes on video running 40 yard sprints at near full-speed. Before the preseason game against the Jaguars on August 17th not only did Holmes run full speed but he ran some routes and caught balls from Geno Smith. Clearly Holmes is further along in his recovery than he was letting on.
This week both John Idzik and Rex Ryan have spoken about Holmes looking good and being close to returning but Holmes isn’t done messing with the press. Yesterday, in interviews given Holmes was all over the map saying “he’ll be ready to roll soon” then saying that he wakes up each morning in pain, that he can’t run routes yet (downplaying those that were seen at the preseason game), then following that up with “It’s not like I can’t do anything it’s just that I haven’t done anything yet.”, ending it with “We have 16 weeks of football. At any point I could be ready to play, If not, I would be willing to accept it.” (quotes from Newsday Aug 21st Kimberley Martin) He was clearly screwing with the media there giving vague, open-ended quotes that could be used to prove he is still far off from return or that his return is imminent. The media took the bait and took the viewpoint that Holmes would not be ready for a while.
I’m not going to be fooled again. The last time he spoke he publicly advanced his recovery the next day and seemed to have been already doing it. Tomorrow is a closed practice and I would bet either before or after that Holmes will be running routes and catching passes. I believe that Holmes will return soon, either this Monday or next, and when he does so nobody will know until he comes out in pads. He wants to control his own narrative and mess with the media while he is doing it. I say good for him.