FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets' biggest strength quickly became their biggest concern.
Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson left Sunday's practice with a hamstring injury. Coach Todd Bowles called it a "tweak" and said he wasn't worried about any long-term impact, but any absence by Wilkerson is cause for concern following the troubling offseason experienced by fellow defensive end Sheldon Richardson.
Wilkerson was replaced by Richardson in Sunday's practice. However, Richardson wouldn't be an option to replace Wilkerson during the first month of the season -- at least.
Richardson, already suspended for the first four games for testing positive for marijuana multiple times, is likely facing additional sanctions from the NFL after it was revealed Thursday that he faces charges in his home state of Missouri following a July 14 incident in which Richardson allegedly was driving 143 mph before engaging police in a high-speed car chase that ended with him resisting arrest.
Richardson's troubles vaulted rookie defensive lineman Leonard Williams, viewed by many as the best player in this year's draft, into the starting lineup. That is not necessarily the worst thing for the Jets, who likely will only be able to afford one of the Wilkerson/Richardson duo long term.
The quicker the Jets can find out about Williams, the better. However, Wilkerson's injury is a reminder the Jets would much rather not have to find out how deep their talent pool runs along the defensive line.
--The Jets' search for a homegrown No. 1 receiver will be delayed at least a month.
Devin Smith, whom the Jets drafted in the second round this spring, sustained broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung during practice Friday. He should return to the Jets before the regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 13, but the injury surely will impact the first-year development of a player viewed by many as a project coming out of Ohio State.
Smith is the second receiver taken by the Jets in the second round in the past three years. They can only hope he turns out better than Stephen Hill, a 2012 draftee who had 45 catches for 594 yards and four touchdowns over two injury-plagued seasons. As poorly as Hill worked out for the Jets, he is the only receiver drafted by them since 2012 to record more than one catch for the club.
Smith and Hill wear the same number (84). Hill spent last season on the Panthers' practice squad but sustained a season-ending knee injury Saturday, prompting Carolina to cut him.
A Jets draftee hasn't recorded a 1,000-yard season since Jerricho Cotchery, a 2004 fourth-round pick, gained 1,130 yards in 2007. The last No. 1 receiver drafted and developed by the Jets was Keyshawn Johnson, who was the top overall pick of the 1996 draft.
--Quarterbacks Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick have yet to throw an interception in four practices. Given the turnover-prone ways of Smith and ex-starter Mark Sanchez the last four seasons, that's cause for celebration, right?
Not so fast, according to Bowles.
"It's only two days (of padded practices), so I don't know how impressed you can be," Bowles said. "It's nice, but you're not going to sit there and fly the flag."