Pennington throws for the first time since injury

Updated: October 6, 2003, 4:58 PM ET

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington threw Monday for the first time since being injured in a preseason game.

Pennington threw about 50 times in a 20-minute period.

"It felt good," Pennington said afterward. "I'm very giddy and very excited just to be out with the team again, putting on a green and white jersey. I haven't had a chance to do that since Aug. 23."

The Jets are 0-4 without Pennington, who has been replaced by 39-year-old Vinny Testaverde.

Pennington, who led the NFL in passer rating last season, said he hoped that throwing would help the team's morale.

"The way things are right now, I think we're all just trying to pull together," he said. "Part of my job is to come together as well and get on the ship and kind of see what we can do with the rest of our season. I think we need to focus on turning this thing around if we can. And I'm going to do everything I can to help us do that."

His teammates agreed.

"Chad's one of the leaders on this team and right now we need as much leadership as possible," running back Curtis Martin said. "It's good to see him throwing."

Pennington, who had seven pins removed from his left hand and wrist about 10 days is not expected back until the Jets' Nov. 9 game in Oakland at the earliest.

"It's a slow process and we're not going to rush him," coach Herman Edwards said. "I know he's all excited about trying to throw the ball again, so we'll see where he's at."

Edwards warned his players not to expect Pennington's return to automatically turn around the season.

"When he comes back he has to get used to playing," Edwards said. "It's not like he's had a lot of snaps."

Pennington wore a brace under a glove on his left hand to protect the injury.

"The movement is not where it needs to be, but I think we're making progress on a daily basis," Pennington said. "Any time you have an injury like this, you're going to experience stiffness and things like that, and we work through those things."

In an unrelated matter, defensive end John Abraham, arrested last week for drunken driving and sent home to South Carolina by Edwards, was not at practice as the team returned from its bye week.

Edwards said he expected Abraham at practice on Tuesday.

His status for Sunday's game against Buffalo isn't clear. Asked if Abraham will play Sunday, Edwards replied: "I haven't decided what I'm going to do."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index