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Duane Brown could return to Jets offensive line this week

The Jets may be getting a piece of their starting offensive line back this week.

Veteran left tackle Duane Brown returned to practice on Wednesday after missing four weeks with a shoulder injury. The Jets now must decide whether to activate Brown off of injured reserve for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins or wait. Brown must be activated within three weeks.

Brown, who signed with the Jets in August and was expected to start at left tackle, sounded optimistic on Wednesday although he wants to test the shoulder in Thursday’s practice when the Jets have pads on.

“We’ll see,” Brown said. “[Wednesday] was a really good step forward in the right direction. [Thursday] we’ll get the pads on and turn up the intensity a little more. I’m feeling pretty good right now. That’s all I can say.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh would not reveal his plans for the offensive line for Sunday. If Brown can play, he will be the third different starting left tackle the Jets have had. Brown injured the shoulder in practice before Week 1, forcing George Fant to move from right to left tackle. Fant then injured his knee in Week 3 against the Bengals and was placed on IR. Alijah Vera-Tucker moved from right guard to left tackle to replace Fant in last week’s game against the Steelers.

Jets offensive tackle Duane Brown at practice
Bill Kostroun

Vera-Tucker may now be asked to move to right tackle if Brown can play left tackle. The Jets liked Nate Herbig at right guard last week.

“I don’t know man,” Vera-Tucker said when asked if he could play right tackle. “Me, being as confident as I am, I would say yeah. But at the end of the day that’s up to coach.”

QB Zach Wilson was limited in practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury. Saleh downplayed the injury but Wilson was not on the field during the portion of practice open to the media. He joined the practice later. Wilson had his left ankle taped.

Saleh initially described the injury as “nicks and bruises.”

“It’s football,” Saleh said. “He’s dealing with an ankle, but he’s fine.”

RB Breece Hall (knee) and LB Marcell Harris (neck) were also limited. LB Quincy Williams (ankle) and OT Max Mitchell (knee) did not practice. DE Vinny Curry returned to practice from IR. The team had 21 days to add him to the active roster.

The Dolphins have a long list of injured players. The following players did not practice on Wednesday due to injuries:

QB Tua Tagovailoa (concussion, back, ankle), WR Jaylen Waddle (groin), CB Xavien Howard (groins), OT Terron Armstead (toe), OL Robert Jones (back), TE Cethan Carter (concussion) and DB Keion Crossen (glute/shoulder).