New York Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson practiced for the first time since banging up his hamstring. May play against Giants.

By Robby Sabo

It still remains a mystery how badly Muhammad Wilkerson is injured. His nagging hamstring is the reason he’s sat out both preseason games and numerous practices over the last couple weeks.

It’s a mystery based on other things at work.

Big Mo and the New York Jets have been at odds about the current status of his contract. He’s on the last year of a rookie deal, so naturally, the 2013 second-team NFL All-Pro is looking to cash in.

Considering this, many have speculated that this specific hammy might be one of those “I’ll take it easy due to my frustrations over my contract” type deals.

Whether it’s legit or not, the beast of an interior defensive lineman is now back at practice and could play this coming Saturday night in the annual Snoopy Bowl against the New York Giants.

Via Rich Cimini of ESPN New York:

“He’s feeling a lot better,” Bowles said. “He’s moving pretty good. We’re bringing him along slowly, but he’ll practice this week. Pending any setbacks, he’ll play this weekend.”

“I hope so, but my hamstring … I have to make sure it’s good throughout the week,” Wilkerson said. “It felt good today. That’s why I got some reps with the team. Hopefully, I’ll continue to progress.”

Without Sheldon Richardson – who’s currently dominating second string guards and tackles in the preseason – the Jets now need Wilkerson. His play opposite stud rookie Leonard Williams would be a much welcomed addition to a defense with lofty expectations in 2015.

“I need practice reps to get in the flow with my teammates,” Wilkerson said. “I haven’t been out there in weeks. The guys have been installing and I haven’t been out there. I need to catch up a little bit.”

Veteran Stephen Bowen received the start in place of Wilkerson last Friday as the Jets came away with a 30-22 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

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