Santonio Holmes doesn't practice

Updated: January 13, 2011, 1:18 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After two days off, the New York Jets returned to practice Tuesday without three key players -- wide receiver Santonio Holmes, right tackle Damien Woody and kick returner Brad Smith.

All three are expected to play Sunday in the AFC divisional playoffs against the New England Patriots, but Woody (knee) and Smith (groin) are battling injuries that bear watching.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez, dealing with a sore throwing shoulder for the last four games, practiced on a limited basis. In warm-ups, open to the media, he was throwing left-handed, but that has been his usual routine for early-in-the-week practices.

On Monday, coach Rex Ryan expressed concern about Woody and Smith, but he indicated both are likely to play.

Smith was injured in the first quarter in last Saturday night's wild-card win in Indianapolis, returning in the third quarter at less than 100 percent. The question this week is whether Smith will be healthy enough to perform all his duties, returning kickoffs and operating the Jets' Wildcat package. Smith's injury created an opportunity for Antonio Cromartie, who set up Nick Folk's game-winning field goal with a 47-yard kickoff return.

Woody returned to the starting lineup after missing three games due to arthroscopic surgery. He played the entire game but was "wobbling" on Monday, according to Ryan.

Holmes has been nagged by a quadriceps injury, but it hasn't affected his playing time.

Tuesday was a relatively light practice. The Jets will kick it up a notch Wednesday, the heaviest installation day for the game plan.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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