Kellen Winslow sits out of practice again because of knee

As Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith rang in his 23rd birthday Thursday by practicing for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense, he didn’t have one of his veteran targets.

For the second straight day, tight end Kellen Winslow, who leads the Jets with 17 catches and is tied for the team lead with two touchdown grabs, did not participate in practice because of his surgically repaired right knee, which requires constant pain management.

Winslow, who also has 169 receiving yards this season, has been limited in practice dating back to training camp because the Jets don’t want to overwork the knee. And Winslow did play in Monday night’s win at Atlanta despite being listed as questionable entering the game. But Winslow, who hasn’t spoken to reporters this week, played just 20 snaps in the game after playing 49, 38, 53 and 49 in the first four games. On Monday, Winslow's only catch was a 1-yard touchdown.

“He seemed to make it through the game OK,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “We’ve been putting him on a pitch count (by limiting his practice action). I thought today he would do a little practice. He did not practice.”

Said Smith: “You can tell that he wants to be out there, and he’s giving it all that he’s got. I know he’s dealt with a few injuries, but he’s given us every single thing that he has. That’s probably the thing that frustrates him more, is that he knows his ability. He knows he can do more, but right now he’s a bit limited.”

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