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Sunday is the Day Plaxico Burress Has Been Awaiting

Burress makes his return to game action against the Bengals

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    The wait is almost over.

    After 1,001 days away from the field and a particularly poorly timed ankle injury, Plaxico Burress makes his long-awaited return to the NFL on Sunday when the Jets take on the Bengals.

    It is safe to say that the Jets are going to be champing at the bit to get this game going.

    This is their first chance to see what the Jets passing game is going to look like this season and their first chance to assess the big bet the Jets placed on Burress' ability to return to form this season.

    You couldn't really ask for a better team to provide Burress' first opposition than the Bengals. They are a team in disarray on both sides of the ball thanks to a series of departures in the offseason.

    None looms bigger for Sunday than the loss of cornerback Jonathan Joseph to Houston as a free agent.

    He's the kind of athletic corner that would make it difficult for the Jets to get the ball to Burress, but without him, Mark Sanchez should have plenty of opportunities to start working on his in-game chemistry with Burress.

    No one expects Burress to be at his old level right out of the gate, but all eyes will be glued to him on every play to see some sign of the player he was before he shot himself in the thigh.

    It won't take more than one big catch to get people excited about the prospects of the year to come, but getting through the game healthy while looking in the flow would be enough to make the night a success.

    That's a success for the Jets and their fans, mind you. For Burress, just walking on the field will represent a success after where he's been and everything else will just be gravy.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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