With struggling rookie Dee Milliner ruled out for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans with the hamstring injury he suffered mid-week, Darrin Walls will start opposite Antonio Cromartie for the New York Jets.
Jets coach Rex Ryan insisted Walls wasn't starting in place of Kyle Wilson, who was pulled from last week's game after a series of penalties while dueling Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson. Ryan said the Jets will play plenty of nickel packages in which Wilson will play the slot, where he's better suited than Walls.
Isaiah Trufant and Ellis Lankster can also play inside.
"Walls is strictly, I mean to us, he's always been an outside corner and strictly an outside corner. Where you have Kyle to do both and you got, obviously Trufant is a slot corner as well and Ellis can play in there," said Ryan. "But, it's tough. It's a different world in there. You've got to be able to play in space and sometimes the guys that are your taller corners don't do particularly well in there.
"Even though, quite honestly, Antonio Allen has played in that spot quite a bit for us because we leave our base defense out there quite a bit. Some guys can do it, but most guys who have that kind of height, it kind of restricts you a little bit."
Pressed on whether Walls will be on the field instead of Wilson when the Jets are using only two cornerbacks, Ryan didn't take the bait Friday.
"That could be, it could not be. We're flexible in our system, so we play three safeties, we play a lot of corners. If some guy goes trotting out there at first, it doesn't necessarily (mean he's the starter)," said Ryan. "He may start, but somebody else is starting in different packages and everything else. We just try to get the most out of our players and try to put our guys in a situation to be successful. Sometimes there are different matchups. You may start Kyle against a certain type of player or you may start Walls or Dee or whatever it is. So, that's kind of how we approach each week."
The one place there is no debate is Cromartie, who stays on the field for every snap. Why?
"Because he's a great player," said Ryan.
--OLB Quinton Coples (right ankle) returned to limited practice Friday and is probable. Rex Ryan said Thursday was a planned day of rest for Coples, who suffered a hairline fracture against the Jaguars on Aug. 17 and underwent surgery three days later. Coples made his season debut in the Jets' 27-20 win over the Bills on Sunday.
--RB Chris Ivory (hamstring) did not practice again Friday and has been ruled out vs. Tennessee. Ivory hurt his hamstring on the second series of the Jets' 27-20 win over the Bills on Sunday The Jets have not said which hamstring he hurt, but that it's the same one that was bothering him during training camp.
--OT Oday Aboushi (knee) did not practice Friday and has been ruled out. Aboushi was injured during a one-on-one drill in practice last Friday. Aboushi was inactive for the game against the Bills on Sunday after being a healthy scratch for the Jets' first two games.