Eric Decker: ‘Frustrating Having These Soft-Tissue Issues’

Eric Decker will be the first one to tell you that hamstring injuries really aren’t any fun. Decker tweaked his hamstring in a 31-24 loss in Green Bay in Week 2, had to leave the game and was limited to one catch in a 27-19 loss to the Bears in Week 3.

He hopes to be close to full strength this Sunday against Detroit.

“I’m feeling better,” the New York Jets wide receiver said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I feel like this week has kind of been getting over the hump and finally getting to be able to get out and run some routes, slowly work my way back in with the team. It’s frustrating having some of these soft-tissue issues. I’m hoping to eliminate them and get back and get going.”

Decker said he’s never really had hamstring issues in the past, but he does admit he’s not the most flexible guy in the world.

“I’m just trying to listen to my body,” he said. “The volume of maybe the reps and stuff that I’ve been doing to recover – I just need to get better at (some of those things).”

The worst thing about a hamstring injury is its unpredictability. You can feel completely fine but then tweak it with the tiniest misstep. And even if you don’t tweak it, the threat of tweaking it is constantly in the back of your mind.

“Yeah, I was being smart about it,” Decker said. “I didn’t take a lot of reps, but I knew going (into last week) that I wasn’t going to be able to play the whole game, and I had to be careful with what I was doing. But you know your body well enough. You can tell the difference between having tightness and having hurt tightness where it can cause some bigger issues. I got tight, loosened up and decided just to shut it down so I could be better going into the future.”

Although his hamstring has limited him, Decker, 27, still leads the Jets with 156 receiving yards. He spent the first four years of his career in Denver, including the last two with Peyton Manning.

Geno Smith has picked Decker’s brain about that a bit.

“He definitely has,” Decker said. “That’s the first thing he asked when I got here was what made Peyton so great as far as attention to details, on the practice field, in film (study). The thing is, (Smith is) a second-year guy learning the system, and Peyton knew his system so well because he played it for 14, 15 years. So now it’s getting more comfortable with what the play calls are and adding a little bit more and getting that timing down with all his receivers.”

Michael Vick, meanwhile, is also someone Smith can bounce ideas off of.

“Mike’s been great,” Decker said. “He’s just a phenomenal leader on this team. He’s played so many years. He’s been in this system. He knows Marty (Mornhinweg) well and he’s really helped Geno as far as just talking to him over certain reads, certain plays and just kind of being there to build his confidence. It’s hard when you’re a starter all your career and you got to take a backup role, but he definitely stepped in and (has done) a good job being a leader.”

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