The Jets this week announced the signing of former Duke WR Eron Riley to their active roster. Riley had been on the Broncos practice squad since this time last year, so the Jets must - by rule - keep him on the active roster for at least three weeks.

I've gone back and looked at preseason footage of Riley over the last three seasons to try and get some idea of what he brings to the table and what this could mean over the next few weeks and beyond.

Background

Riley went to Duke and started 40 games for them, catching over 140 passes at almost 17 yards per catch. He even managed to set a few school records. A big target with good hands and terrific athletic ability, Riley was unlucky not to be drafted, as many sites had him rated as a late round pick. One thing that may have counted against him was his arrest in 2008, when a policeman apparently saw him hit someone at a bar.

After going undrafted in 2009, Riley joined the Baltimore Ravens but didn't make the active roster. However, he was back in 2010 to compete for a roster spot, having spend the 2009 season on the practice squad. He again failed to make the team and was on the practice squad for a couple of teams before the Broncos put him on their practice squad last October. He was signed for the 2011 season and played for them in preseason, but was cut and placed on the practice squad before the regular season began. The Jets picked him up this week.

Riley is 6-foot-3, but only 207 pounds according to his officially listed NFL weight. However, that was his combine weight back in 2009 and I expect one of the reasons the Broncos had him on their practice squad was to bulk him up, so it's unlikely he hasn't put any weight on since then. He has some enticing Pro Day numbers, including 4.29 for the 40-yard dash, a 40-inch vertical and an 11-foot-2 broad jump, underlining his athletic potential.

The Numbers

In three preseason campaigns, Riley was targeted 17 times. These were all in the fourth quarter, apart from one in his rookie season that was in the last minute of the third. He caught a total of 11 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns. Even if you omit his longest gain (an 89-yarder), that's still over 20 yards per catch. He also had one special teams tackle.

Pass Catching

In his rookie season, Riley was targeted six times. Three were incomplete and one was a 10-yard gain. Unfortunately footage of these four plays was unavailable.

In the final preseason game of his rookie year, Riley made an impact with two big catches on the same drive, late in their game with Atlanta. He was going up against Chris Owens, who at the time was also a rookie but is now Atlanta's number three cornerback, playing regularly in the NFL (109 snaps this year).

- Riley went deep down the sideline and caught a 47-yard pass. The ball was underthrown and he had to slow down and wait on it, otherwise it would have been a touchdown.

- Riley ran a comeback route and made a leaping catch. As he landed, he made a nice move to avoid Owens' tackle and then dived in between two defenders to get into the endzone for a 15-yard score.

In the first preseason game of 2010, Riley was targeted once:

- Riley ran a quick slant with the defender playing off him. He looked like he had a chance to slip between two defenders for a first down and maybe more, but unfortunately he was unable to make the catch on what looked like a well thrown ball.

He didn't contribute again until the fourth game against the Rams where he was targeted three times:

- On third and ten, he found a gap in the zone 25 yards downfield, but Troy Smith overthrew him by about ten yards.

- He ran a quick slant, caught the ball and then avoided a tackle and ran right across field for extra yardage, eventually falling forward for a 19-yard gain.

- With eight seconds left, the Ravens were down six at their own 45. Riley ran a comeback route, leapt to catch the ball on the sideline for 14 and stepped out of bounds.

After joining the Broncos in 2011, Riley caught all three passes thrown his way in the first preseason game against Dallas:

- Riley came back to the ball and caught it downfield, then turned upfield and made a couple of extra yards, for 17 overall.

- He dodged the jam at the line and got a step on his man on a skinny post route, securing the catch over the middle for 19.

- With the ball at the 8, he was initially covered, but found some space at the back of the endzone and made a leaping grab, landing with both feet just in bounds.

After missing the second game, he was targeted once against the Seahawks:

- On third and 13, he made like he was going to run deep, then stopped on a dime and turned around for the ball. Had he caught it, he'd have had a chance to get the first down because the man covering him was about ten yards off him. Unfortunately, it was batted down at the line.

In the last game against the Rams, he made a huge impact. He was going up against Fred Bennett who is currently not on a roster but has started 18 games and picked off five passes in the NFL since being drafted in 2007:

- Ran a comeback route and caught a pass for a 12 yard gain.

- Ran a go-route and burned his man easily for a 43-yard score.

- Made a juggling catch on the outside as the man covering him made a despairing dive, then cut back across the field to avoid a tackler at the 25 and raced down the sideline, finally getting knocked out of bounds inside the five for an 89-yard gain. Marshay Green had the angle to make the tackle, but his speed down the sideline was impressive.

Blocking

In the footage I saw, Riley was never really asked to do anything other than block downfield. He played to the whistle, but they rarely ran the ball in his direction. I read a comment on a Broncos blog that said he was too lightweight to block effectively in their system, but I didn't really see enough of him to make an assessment either way.

Special Teams

Riley saw some time on the punt return unit as a punt rusher, but was easily handled by his blocker on the few examples I looked at. He also seemed to lack blocking instincts in open space. I also saw him get some reps as a punt gunner. Again, he didn't seem to be physical enough to get downfield. The one tackle he had was on a play where he was blocked away from the return man, but the returner slipped and Riley put a hand on him to make him down by contact.

Riley did return 11 kicks in college for a 23.3 yard average, but was unable to beat out any of the return men they had in Baltimore or Denver to even get a shot at returning one in a preseason game.

Miscellaneous

I did not see any signs of cockiness from Riley in any of the footage I watched. One concern may be durability though. As noted, he hurt his calf after one of the above catches and I also note that he injured his arm in practice and missed time with the Broncos and had leg and hand injuries while at college.

Conclusions

As we've learned from David Clowney, major preseason production late in games, doesn't necessarily mean that you're ready to contribute at the NFL level. However, Clowney did have his moments, so if Riley joins the team as a 4th or 5th receiver, perhaps they can get something from him.

From what I've seen, I don't think he's likely to contribute much on special teams, so they've brought him aboard for his receiving ability. As a receiver, he seemed much more impressive than when I scouted Mardy Gilyard, who did look good as a special teamer. This could be a warning shot to Patrick Turner or just a temporary move to get a look at him for a few weeks while they wait for Logan Payne to get healthy.

In terms of that receiving ability, what impressed me was his ability to get separation. Yes, burning guys deep and making yards after the catch is always impressive, but Riley seemed to have a knack of getting open on comebackers and slants. Since I've been watching a lot of footage of Jets receivers not getting separation over the last few weeks, that could be something that he brings to the table that could get him on the field.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Jets mid-season report cards 00:09:19
The Jets Nation crew take a look back at the Jets' first half of the campaign and hand out their mid-season report cards.

Former Jets LB and current SNY Jets contributor Chad Cascadden gives his midseason grades.

Tune in to the Jets Nation Midseason report tonight at 6:30 on SNY!


Offense Overall: (C)

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

When Bilal Powell was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft by the Jets, he was joining a backfield that included the legendary LaDainian Tomlinson. 

Powell only appeared in two games that season but the knowledge he picked up from Tomlinson in the Hall of Famer's final season was invaluable to his career...

Tags: Bilal Powell
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Oct 28, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) looks to pass against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Oct 28, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) looks to pass against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe most important football game for New York will not take place at the Meadowlands on Sunday. It will take place 2,800 miles away at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the future of one or both of the New York teams may be on display Saturday night.

And yes, both the Giants and Jets will both have scouts in the press box watching UCLA take on USC - along with 18 other NFL teams. Their eyes will be fixed on Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen and Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold - the odds-on favorites to be the first and second picks of the 2018 draft.

The Jets, of course, are desperate to find their franchise quarterback. And the Giants are searching for the heir to their 36-year-old quarterback Eli Manning. Right now, the Giants seem to be in the best position to grab the quarterback they desire. But a few more losses over the final six games, and perhaps a trade up, and the Jets could be in position, too.

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New York Jets corner back Buster Skrine (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets corner back Buster Skrine (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets CB Buster Skrine was fined $48,620 for his hit on Bucs WR DeSean Jackson last Sunday, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The third quarter hit on Jackson yielded an unnecessary roughness penalty. It was the 11th time this season Skrine has been penalized, which is the most by any defensive player in the NFL. 

It is also the second time Skrine has been fined this season. He was docked for a hit on Raiders RB DeAndre Washington in Week 2. 

Tags: Buster Skrine
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The Jets have finally reached their bye week, and it's probably at the right time after a dreadful loss to the Tampa Buccaneers. The guys discuss the defeat, as well as a recap of the season so far.

Click below to listen

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 (Steve Nesius/AP)
(Steve Nesius/AP)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Friday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice on Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

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Jets mid-season awards 00:05:26
The Jets Nation crew take a look back at Gang Green's first half and hand out their mid-season awards.

The Jets Nation crew take a look back at Gang Green's first half and hand out their mid-season awards.


 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Wednesday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice next Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

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Current state of the Jets 00:02:37
Jon Hein and Willie Colon break down the current outlook for the Jets after their recent loss to Tampa Bay that dropped them to 4-6.

Jon Hein and Willie Colon break down the current outlook for the Jets after their recent loss to Tampa Bay that dropped them to 4-6.


NY Jets Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff as the Jets get in practice at the Jets Training Facility during training camp in Florham Park, NJ on Aug. 8, 2011 (William Perlman (USA Today))
NY Jets Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff as the Jets get in practice at the Jets Training Facility during training camp in Florham Park, NJ on Aug. 8, 2011 (William Perlman (USA Today))

Mike Westhoff, who had been working for SNY as Jets contributor, is coming out of retirement to join the Saints as a coach.

The 69-year old Westhoff, who was a special teams coach for the Jets from 2001 to 2012, is joining the Saints in the same capacity.

"I didn't want to regret something I didn't try," Westhoff said, according to the NY Post.

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Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons tackles New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons tackles New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Wednesday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice next Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Robby Anderson, Steve McLendon
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 (Jerry Lai)
(Jerry Lai)

Former Jet Bart Scott will join Chris Carlin and Maggie Gray as the team to replace Mike Francesa on WFAN, per the NY Daily News. 

The annoucement has yet to be made by WFAN itself, but it was first reported that Carlin and Scott were to take part of the team taking over for the legendary Francesa. 

Scott currently works with ESPN 98.7 while Carlin talks for WIP radio in Philadelphia. Gray works for SI Now and CBS Sports Radio. 

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets put together their most complete performance of the season in an impressive 34-21 win over the Bills on Thursday night, rushing for almost 200 yards and racking up seven sacks and three fumble recoveries in the process.

Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the offensive side of the ball:

Quarterbacks

With the running game working, Josh McCown didn't need to throw much this week, but he was efficient when he did. He threw just seven passes after halftime, completing five. In the first half, while the game was still in the balance, McCown gave the Jets the lead with a touchdown scramble, completing a drive he'd kept alive himself with another third-down run.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Chad Hansen, Elijah McGuire, James Carpenter, Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Wesley Johnson
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Cast your votes below for the Jets offense, defense, special teams and coaching during the first half of the season and see the results on Jets Nation: Mid Season Report on Thursday 11/16 at 6:30PM.

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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) drops back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) drops back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets (4-6) are now on their bye week. Their next game is against the Carolina Panthers on November 26th. Here's what's going on today...

Tags: Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Unlike the previous week, the Jets offense looked stale in their 15-10 loss to the Bucs on Sunday.

Consistency is what the players didn't see from the unit after the game. As the Jets tried to find a rhythm, something would halt them in their tracks. Josh McCown says it's on the veterans like him because they didn't pull the team together. 

"Myself and the other veterans have to pull these [young] guys along, help us find consistency and be better," McCown told Jets.com's Ethan Greenberg. "Because every unit, at some point this year, has played and shown that they can play with the best in the league. But we have to do that for four quarters week in and week out and we didn't do that today. We have to take these next two weeks to get healthy, look in the mirror and figure out ways to do that and be better, so we can make a run down the stretch."

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The University of Tennessee has expressed interest in Jets DC Kacy Rodgers to become their next head coach, per Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Tennessee fired Butch Jones on Sunday, leaving the school to hire a new coach following the season. No interviews have been scheduled as the talks are just beginning between both sides. 

Rodgers played for the Vols from 1988-1991 was he was a linebacker/defensive end. He was also born in Humboldt, Tennessee. 

The Vols do not need permission from the Jets to talk to Rodgers about the position. 

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

After the win against Buffalo, there was a lot of hype about the "resurgent" Jets and some talk of Todd Bowles as a coach of the year candidate. However, after yesterday's dispiriting loss, the reality is that the Jets have lost four of five with their only win coming over a Bills team whose 37-point loss to the Saints yesterday suggests they have been overrated. Heading to the bye, it's probably time to reset our expectations.

Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the defensive side of the ball...

Tags: Buster Skrine, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

After playing their best game of the season against the Bills last Thursday, the Jets looked lethargic in their 15-10 loss to the Bucs on Sunday. 

It didn't look like the same Jets energy that ran all over MetLife Stadium a week prior. Head coach Todd Bowles noticed a lack of spirit to start the game, and it would last until the final whistle. 

"You've got to show up every week in this league or you get it handed to you," Bowles told The Post's Brian Costello. "We didn't show up today."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Morris Claiborne, Robby Anderson
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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick got his first start on Sunday against his former team, and made the best of it with a victory. 

"It was special to me to be able to win that game," Fitpatrick told NJ.com's Connor Hughes.

Fitzpatrick led the Bucs to a 15-10 win as the Jets suffered their sixth loss of the season. It wasn't his best performance as he finished 17-for-34 for 187 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. But his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Charles Sims would be the deciding score, and the feat Fitzpatrick was hoping to achieve. 

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 11/12 00:11:49
The Jets Post Game crew hands out report cards following the Jets' 15-10 loss at the hands of the Buccaneers.

Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) reacts with a towel over his head during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) reacts with a towel over his head during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

What a waste of an opportunity.

That's the only way to describe that hideous, 15-10 loss the Jets had on Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jets had showed so much promise in recent weeks. They were 10 days removed from their best win of the season. They were getting everyone excited as they sat on the edge of the AFC playoff picture.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bowles, McCown on 15-10 loss 00:02:04
Jets head coach Todd Bowles attributes the team's 15-10 loss to sloppy overall play, while QB Josh McCown credits Tampa Bay's game plan.

The Jets struggled on offense and former Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Bucaneers to a 15-10 win on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.  >> Box score


 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Robby Anderson, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Dr. Levine on treating soldiers 00:03:37
Dr. David Levine discusses his experience treating both professional athletes and soldiers. Demario Davis talks about their relationship.

Oct 8, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan (8) runs the ball as New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) comes in for the tackle during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)
Oct 8, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan (8) runs the ball as New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) comes in for the tackle during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson is active and CB Morris Claiborne is set to return on Sunday when the team faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a road matchup.

Claiborne returned to practice on Thursday after he was sidelined last week with a foot injury, while Wilkerson is set to go after resting during the week.

Tags: Matt Forte, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (4-5) at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

We'll be shivering up here in the Northeast all weekend, but not so much down in Tampa. Temperatures should be in the low 80s throughout the game under partly cloudy skies, moderate winds, and a tiny chance of showers at some point...

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Vacc's 3 Keys to a Jets win 00:01:24
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

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Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs with the ball against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs with the ball against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jets WR Robby Anderson is only in the midst of his second NFL season, but he already has lofty goals for what he hopes is a memorable NFL career.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 34-21. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 34-21. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (AP)

The Jets have activated WR JoJo Natson their practice squad as part of three moves before the team takes on the Bucs on the road on Sunday.

In addition to adding Natson, the Jets waived/injured DL Ed Stinson and signed CB Michael Hunter to the practice squad.

Natson is a 5'7" wide receiver who went undrafted out of Akron and originally signed with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts waived Natson in September and he later signed with the Jets. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Darron Lee 00:01:43
Jeane Coakley talks to Jets' linebacker Darron Lee about the team's focus coming off a big win and their preparation for Sunday's game.