Star Jets LB C.J. Mosley says he'll return from groin injury vs. Patriots

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After missing four games with a groin injury, New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley proclaimed himself ready to face the New England Patriots.

"I'm playing Monday night," Mosley said Thursday after practice. "Unless I get hurt or something, I'm playing."

Mosley's statement took the Jets by surprise, considering he still hasn't participated in a practice since the injury. He was on the field Thursday, but was limited to individual drills, no team periods. Earlier in the day, coach Adam Gase was cautious, characterizing Mosley as day-to-day.

But the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker left no doubt about his intention, saying it twice for reporters: "I'm playing Monday night."

Mosley's return would be a huge boost to the Jets (1-4), who welcomed back quarterback Sam Darnold last week and upset the Dallas Cowboys. Getting Mosley back, Gase said, would have a similar impact on the team.

The Jets' prized free agent is the middle linebacker and defensive signal caller, an extension of coordinator Gregg Williams. The defense has held up reasonably well without Mosley -- the Jets are ranked 19th in yards allowed -- but his presence would galvanize the front seven.

"I know he's going to give the defense a huge lift -- the team, really," Darnold said. "Even at practice today, you could see guys rallying around him."

Mosley also received a welcome back on Twitter from teammate Le'Veon Bell:

Mosley suffered a severe groin pull in the third quarter of the season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills, a game in which the Jets led 16-0 before he left but gave up 17 unanswered points with him off the field to lose 17-16. He thought he'd be back in a week or two, but the injury was more severe than initially diagnosed. On Thursday, he revealed it was a four-to-six-week injury.

"It's been annoying, obviously," said Mosley, who left the Baltimore Ravens to sign a five-year, $85 million contract with the Jets. "You set a timetable up, you're not ready and you feel like you had a setback.

"But you have to be patient, because if I tried to get on the field the past couple of weeks, I would've made it worse."

Mosley said he felt fine after testing it Thursday and his plan is to get real practice time on Friday. That would give him two practices before facing the undefeated Patriots (6-0). Gase said before practice they would evaluate Mosley before determining his workload for the remainder of the week.