Avery Williamson was a welcomed sight during the Jets’ training camp practice this past Sunday. Sunday marked the first time that Williams, a veteran inside linebacker, had participated fully in a Jets’ practice since tearing the ACL in his right knee during the 2019 preseason.

The 28-year-old Williamson started training camp on the team’s PUP list, as the Jets wanted to make sure he was physically ready before putting him in full-speed practices. He came off the PUP list on Saturday, doing individual drills that day before getting the green light to be a full participant on Sunday. Williamson, who said that his recovery took longer than he anticipated, said that he was pain free during Sunday’s practice.

“I pretty much did everything from a perspective of pass to run,” Williamson said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “It’s feeling great. I’m just going to have to keep on improving and getting in shape at this point. My knee’s healthy.”

While he is expected to resume his role as a starter, Williamson, who recorded a career-high 120 tackles in 2018 (his first season with the Jets) isn’t taking anything for granted.

“I definitely feel like I’ve got to prove myself. That’s every year,” said Williamson, who has one year remaining on his current contract. “There’s always going to be competition, guys trying to take your spot. Me missing a year, the guys last year they played well. I give them credit. They definitely played well. I’ve just got to come and make up ground and make sure that I’m on point, make sure I know the playbook thoroughly and make sure when I get my opportunities that I make them count.”

Another veteran that had a notable practice on Sunday was receiver Chris Hogan, who saw time with the Jets’ first team offense with Breshad Perriman missing practice after experiencing knee discomfort. According to Costello, Hogan had his best practice since joining the Jets on August 19. A Ramapo, New Jersey native, Hogan, who made several catches on Sunday that included a one-handed catch on a crossing route, has impressed the Jets’ brass with how quickly he had grasped New York’s offensive playbook.

The Jets are surely hoping that Hogan, a nine-year veteran who won two Super Bowls as a member of the Patriots, can serve as a reliable target for Sam Darnold, who is hoping to have a breakout season after posting a winning record as New York’s starting quarterback last season. 

“I think everything is faster,” coach Adam Gase recently said when asked to evaluate Darnold’s camp thus far, via the team’s website. “To me, the thing that has been noticeable is the way he drops, how fast he gets back, how he steps up, how he’s sliding in the pocket. Last year at this time, if we put the film on back-to-back, it would look completely different.

“That’s the tough part about when you’re a quarterback and last year was your third system in three years — that can slow you down. And the fact that this is his second year in the same system, I know he’s got new guys but he’s not thinking as much, it’s more of reaction for him and then he’s able to focus on the things he needs to focus on: ‘Hey, my footwork, using this cadence, seeing the defense, knowing where to go the ball.’ Just everything’s happening faster for him and you can just tell how much more comfortable he is playing quarterback right now.”

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