Nelson, who came to the Jets four weeks into last season after they were hit with injuries, finished 2013 with 36 catches (second on the team) for 423 yards and two touchdowns.
This year, Nelson "appears to be the favorite" for the No. 2 job judging from OTA and minicamp snaps, per the report.
The starting job is not guaranteed for Nelson. He is battling Stephen Hill and draft picks Jalen Saunders, Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa. But Nelson has seniority on those receivers, which could give him an edge.
The studs include receivers
The duds were quarterbacks
"I was quarantined," Nelson said.
He returned this week to practice and will now compete for the No. 2 receiver job opposite Eric Decker.
Nelson, who was waived by the Browns before the season, had not noticed anything unusual about Bess as a teammate.
"I had tremendous respect for Bess," Nelson told ESPN. "When I was there, our lockers were next to each other's. He was excited to be there. I found him to be great for Josh (Gordon). He worked hard. Josh saw that. Everybody saw that.
"The stuff I heard (before the game) was all uncharacteristic of things I'd seen when I was there. He ended up leading the league in drops (he was actually second with 14) and he'd never done that before. Everything that happened was uncharacteristic of him, so you know something must have happened to him."
Bess was later placed on the non-football injury list due to his personal problems, which was followed by his well-chronicled bizarre behavior that led to his arrest.
Neither player reached even 600 yards this season in the Jets' woeful passing offense, with Kerley leading the team with 523 yards. Holmes finished with 456 yards and Nelson adding 423 yards.
|P2||8/16/14||@ CIN||7:00 pm|
|P4||8/28/14||@ PHI||7:00 pm|
|2||9/14/14||@ GB||4:25 pm|
|5||10/5/14||@ SD||4:25 pm|
|7||10/16/14||@ NE||8:25 pm|
|9||11/2/14||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/23/14||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|14||12/7/14||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|15||12/14/14||@ TEN||4:05 pm|
|17||12/28/14||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|2013||New York Jets||12||6||36||423||11.8||31||2||5||0||20|
|2013||New York Jets||12||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|