Former Kent State standout Josh Cribbs is getting a chance to continue his career and give the New York Jets a boost on special teams and at wide receiver.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection was cut by Oakland in the preseason after having offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Jets had shown interest in Cribbs during the last several months, working him out twice before signing him Tuesday.
Cribbs, 30, is tied with New England’s Leon Washington for the most kickoff-return touchdowns in NFL history with eight, and has returned three punts for scores. He spent his first eight NFL seasons with Cleveland.
New York also signed wide receiver Greg Salas from Philadelphia’s practice squad, and placed wide receiver Clyde Gates and running back Mike Goodson on season-ending injured reserve.
The Jets also signed former Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet to the practice squad.
Cribbs could help offset the losses of both Gates and Goodson. He has 107 career receptions for 1,161 yards and seven touchdowns, and has experience running the wildcat formation — one of Goodson’s roles with the Jets — with 753 yards rushing and two scores. The versatile Cribbs, who played quarterback at Kent State, is also 4-of-12 passing in his career.
The signing of Cribbs is a low-risk, high-reward move — especially if he can regain the form that made him one of the league’s most dangerous players who could score from any spot on the field.
Gates injured his left shoulder Sunday in the Jets’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but had expressed optimism Monday that he would be able to play this Sunday against New England. He hadn’t yet received the result from an MRI exam, though, and it apparently revealed the injury to be more serious than first thought.
Gates finished with 12 catches for 122 yards this season, and averaged 23.2 yards as the Jets’ primary kick returner.
Goodson, a potential replacement for Gates on kickoffs, was also lost for the season Sunday when he tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee. He was hurt while trying to make a tackle on Lawrence Timmons’ game-sealing interception of Geno Smith in the fourth quarter.
Steelers lose two players
Levi Brown’s tenure at left tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers is over before it even began.
The Steelers placed Brown on injured reserve on Tuesday, two days after Brown tore a triceps while warming up before a 19-6 victory over the Jets. Brown, acquired from the Arizona Cardinals last week, will need surgery and is done for the year.
Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin called the injury “freakish” in its timing.
“I’ve been in this league a number of years and this is probably only the second time I’ve ever been around that,” Tomlin said.
The Steelers (1-4) also lost tight end David Johnson for the year with a wrist injury. This is the second straight season Johnson is headed to the injured reserve. Johnson didn’t even play in 2012 due to a torn ACL in his right knee.
Pittsburgh filled out its roster by signing free agent tight end Richard Gordon and promoted cornerback Isaiah Green to the practice squad and Tomlin didn’t rule out the prospect of both players seeing time on Sunday when the Steelers face rival Baltimore (3-3) looking to win consecutive games for the first time in 11 months.
Packers without Cobb
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is out for at least six weeks with a knee injury.
The team placed Cobb on injured reserve/designated for return on Tuesday. The designation requires a player to miss at least six games. Cobb was hurt during the 19-17 win Sunday over the Ravens.
The hobbled Packers also placed backup offensive lineman Greg Van Roten on injured reserve. He had a foot injury.
The team replenished its roster by signing tight end Jake Stoneburner and Myles White off the practice squad, and signed linebacker Victor Aiyewa to the practice squad.
Coach Mike McCarthy has already said linebacker Nick Perry (foot) is out for this weekend’s game against the Browns, while receiver James Jones (leg) has a chance to play.
Vick returns to practice
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick practiced on a limited basis Tuesday, but there is no word on his status for Sunday’s game against Dallas. Vick suffered a hamstring injury against the New York Giants two weeks ago and missed last Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay.
He threw passes on Tuesday, did some light jogging, and worked in individual drills for Philadelphia (3-3). But he did the same last week, in preparation for the Buccaneers, only to skip the Eagles’ 31-20 victory.
Should Vick miss Sunday’s home game, which is for first place in the NFC East, Nick Foles would play against the Cowboys (3-3). The Eagles have won consecutive games after a three-game skid.
After practice, Vick spoke to reporters but did not sound optimistic about his chances for Sunday.
“I can’t say how far I am,” Vick said. “Last week, I may have been about 50, 60 percent. This week, I don’t know. I’m just working every day. Trying to get myself in a position where I can run. I feel it’s getting better, but when I try to burst, it’s not there.
“Another week of rehab could put me in a position where I could start gaining confidence and I can go out and do the things I normally do.”
Asked if he thought he could play Sunday, Vick showed less confidence than he did a week ago when a decision was not made until late.
“I can’t answer that question,” Vick said. “As far as it goes right now, I just have to take it one day at a time and keep rehabbing. It’s very important that I keep in shape, keep my cardio up, keep my legs in shape.”
The Eagles, already 2-0 in the division, have variety at the quarterback slot. Vick is still among the more mobile in the league, while Foles is a standard pocket passer who runs when needed.
Around the league
The Denver Broncos kept rookie wide receiver Tavarres King from joining the Green Bay Packers by promoting him to their active roster. King, a speedy fifth-round draft pick from Georgia, made an early impression at training camp but faded and didn’t make the final cut. He spent the last six weeks on Denver’s practice squad. The Broncos waived linebacker Adrian Robinson, who played in every game after being claimed off waivers from Philadelphia on Sept. 1. … Needing to replace two key special teamers, the Washington Redskins signed free-agent linebacker Josh Hull and long snapper Kyle Nelson. The Redskins also signed safety Trenton Robinson, while waiving safety Jordan Pugh and putting linebacker Bryan Kehl and long snapper Nick Sundberg on injured reserve. Hull was drafted in the seventh round in 2010 by the Rams, who released him this August. He’s played in 28 NFL games, making one start. Nelson has been with six teams since 2011, most recently appearing in San Diego’s final six games last season. Robinson was a sixth-round draft pick in 2012 and has appeared in three NFL games with the 49ers. … The Buffalo Bills are making a switch at left guard by releasing starter Colin Brown in a move that opens the door for Doug Legursky. Brown was cut Tuesday, two days after his season-long struggles continued in a 27-24 overtime loss to Cincinnati. Brown split playing time with Legursky over the past two weeks before being benched in the second half last weekend. The Bills (2-4), who play at Miami (3-2) on Sunday, filled Brown’s roster spot by promoting offensive lineman Mark Asper off their practice squad. Buffalo also shuffled its practice squad by signing offensive lineman Bryant Browning and linebacker Jacquies Smith, and releasing defensive end Jamie Blatnick. … The Dallas Cowboys signed defensive end Jarius Wynn and released defensive tackle David Carter and cornerback Chris Greenwood. Wynn was cut by San Diego last week after appearing in the first five games for the Chargers. Dallas signed running back Davin Meggett to the practice squad. He is the son of former NFL running back Dave Meggett. The Cowboys have just two healthy backs if DeMarco Murray (knee) and Lance Dunbar (hamstring) don’t play against the Eagles.