FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — LaRon Landry zipped across the end zone during an agility drill, showing the New York Jets how much closer he is to getting on the field.
While the veteran safety can't participate in minicamp this week, the fact he's able to run and make cuts at this point qualifies as significant progress.
"I shocked myself," Landry said Wednesday. "Unfortunately, I'm not there yet, but I'm not taking any steps back."
That's the key for Landry, who signed with the Jets in March to step in as a significant part of the team's secondary. The team knew he was coming off injuries to his Achilles and heel that shortened his season last year with the Washington Redskins and would need to rehabilitate them during the offseason.
The 27-year-old Landry spent a few weeks with the Jets during the first few weeks of the offseason program before heading out on his own to rehab rather than stay around the team and its medical staff.
"I felt more comfortable going back to Arizona to finish off my rehab and be ahead of the game," he said. "The Achilles is totally healed. I've been ahead of schedule, which is a blessing. This treatment is very advanced."
He opted to treat the injuries without surgery, instead going with platelet-rich plasma therapy. Landry then underwent a stem cell treatment called AmnioMatrix to accelerate the healing, with three sessions planned. After getting such successful results the first time around, Landry was told he didn't need the other two treatments and instead chose to have another round of platelet-rich plasma therapies.
Rex Ryan acknowledged some initial concern — "you kind of worry," he said — about not having Landry with the team, but the Jets were impressed by the shape Landry was in when he reported for minicamp.
"He's way ahead of where our trainers thought he would be," Ryan said. "We just have to be smart these next couple of days that he doesn't overdo things. He's on the right track, and we feel good about it."
Landry, signed to a one-year deal in March, hopes to be ready to practice when the team opens training camp in Cortland, N.Y., next month.
"I'm progressing," he said. "Things are going real well and I'm looking forward to training camp. I can't wait to get out there and do everything. I'll be ready physically and mentally."
Now, it's just a matter of getting healthy — and staying healthy. He finished each of the past two seasons on injured reserve and played in just 17 games. He damaged his left Achilles tendon in 2010 and last season, he struggled with a strained hamstring, a pulled groin and again with the Achilles and heel issues.
Landry has taken his share of ribbing in the locker room from his teammates after being away for a while.
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