Jets coach Todd Bowles provided some clarity on when rookie wide receiver ArDarius Stewart suffered two injuries that required surgery.
It sounded like Stewart had thumb and groin injuries before the Jets drafted him when Bowles described them Wednesday. But Stewart injured his thumb in rookie minicamp in May. When the decision was made to have surgery on his thumb, the Jets decided to have Stewart undergo surgery on an old groin injury, too, because he already was missing time.
“He was healthy when he came in,” Bowles said. “He had a strained groin in the past. It was something that looked like at some point in time he would need surgery on. We decided to be more proactive, since the thumb was done and he was going to be out, to do the groin so he wouldn’t have any problems come the season.”
The Jets drafted Stewart in the third round out of Alabama. Players from Alabama have gained a reputation through the years of arriving in the NFL beat up from their college careers. Former Jets first-round pick Dee Milliner’s career was derailed by injuries.
“We knew he had a history, but it wasn’t a bad history,” Bowles said. “It wasn’t anything that was going to prevent us from drafting him.”
Stewart said he is not sure whether he will be healthy for training camp, but Bowles said he believes Stewart will be.
“If I am, I am. If I’m not, I’m not,” Stewart said. “We’re just following along with the process the trainers have me on. Hopefully, I am.”
Stewart has not been able to participate in spring practices, but he seems OK with that.
“I’m not frustrated,” he said. “Things happen. It’s football. It’s a physical sport. Nicks and knacks happen. You just have to make sure your body is good by the time they need you ready.”
The Jets finished their minicamp with a short practice during which most of the veterans rested. … Bowles had a funny answer when asked about how his coaching staff performed this spring: “They had a lot of practice yelling,” he said.
One intriguing player is nose tackle Mike Pennel , who was picked up this offseason from the Packers. He looks like a giant, even among large football players, at 6-foot-4, 332 pounds.
“Mike’s a big man,” Bowles said. “He’s had a very good spring. He’s into it. We like what we’ve seen in the spring. If that continues in pads, he’ll have a future here.”