Another New York Jets running back bit the dust Tuesday, as Chauncey Washington left their practice squad to join the St. Louis Rams' 53-man roster, a league source confirmed. If the recent trend continues, Washington will have success for St. Louis, which is banged up at the position.
Consider the weekend results for three former Jets running backs:
• Leon Washington scored twice on kickoff returns, lifting the Seattle Seahawks to an upset over the San Diego Chargers. Eleven months ago, his leg was basically snapped in two, leaving his career in jeopardy. What an inspirational comeback. The Jets traded Washington on draft day for a fifth-round pick, claiming he'd be difficult to re-sign after 2010. His surgically repaired leg, of course, was a factor as well.
"Glad we traded him to an NFC team," cracked Rex Ryan, adding that he genuinely is happy for Washington.
• Thomas Jones, playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown in a win over the San Francisco 49ers. The Jets cut Jones last March after a career year. Why? Well, we never got a good explanation on that one. Salary ($5 million), age (32) and a late-season slump, no doubt, were the reasons behind the unpopular move.
• Danny Woodhead, cut by the Jets after Week 1, scored on a 22-yard run for the New England Patriots, a key play in their win over the Buffalo Bills. Initially, it was thought that the Patriots signed Woodhead to pick his brain for intel on the Jets, their Week 2 opponent, but a season-ending injury to Kevin Faulk has created an opportunity for Woodhead.
The Washington, Washington and Woodhead ousters could be tied to rookie Joe McKnight, whom the Jets envisioned as Leon Washington's heir apparent as a third-down back/return specialist. McKnight was a bust in the preseason, and made the team only because he was a draft pick (fourth rounder), and draft picks don't get cut unless they break the law or can't tell an X from a O.
McKnight was outplayed by Chauncey Washington and Woodhead in the preseason, but the Jets are betting on McKnight's potential. They'd better be right. If McKnight doesn't get better, the Jets will have made some McBlunders.