While the Jets didn't condone one of their players fighting, they appreciated the passion from the rookie out of Temple.
"It was a hard-nosed football play and it ended up where it ended up, which was unfortunate," Leonhard said. "But you do like to see that. He's not backing down. He's going to be an aggressive player for us."
Wilkerson will get some more opportunities to make an impact Thursday night, when the Jets play in their final preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Ryan said the veteran starters will not play, but youngsters such as Wilkerson, Ellis and Kyle Wilson will see playing time.
Otherwise, the game will be filled with several players fighting for roster spots, including outside linebacker Aaron Maybin. The former Buffalo Bills first-round pick played a bit with the Jets' first-team defense against the Giants so Ryan and the coaches could see how he fared against top competition.
"I think he's going to have to do more," Ryan said.
Maybin, the No. 11 overall draft pick two years ago, was a bust in Buffalo and is trying to jump-start his career with the Jets. He'll have one more game to prove himself to Ryan.
"He's going to have to show us he's that pass rusher he has a chance to be," Ryan said. "I think he can play in this league. We'll see if he can play for us."
Notes: Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath told ESPN.com he thinks wide receiver Plaxico Burress will struggle in his first season with the Jets after a 20-month layoff while in prison on a gun charge. "I hope he makes All-Pro," he told the website. "The reality is, he'll be damn lucky if he makes it through the season."
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