EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Joe McKnight has been switched from offense to defense, and back again, in the past few weeks. But in the Jets' 23-17 less to the Texans, the running back and part-time cornerback showed why the Jets keep him on special teams.
McKnight returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, and the extra point brought the Jets within 20-14 with 5:03 to play in the third quarter.
“I thought we had the momentum after that,” McKnight said. “I thought the momentum was in our hands, but we just have to finish. We have to play all four quarters.”
The Jets have now returned 16 kickoffs for touchdowns in the Mike Westhoff era. The special teams coordinator has been with the team since 2001, and in every season since then the Jets have had a return for a score, an NFL record.
It was McKnight’s second career touchdown. The first was a Jets-record 107-yard return last season in Baltimore.
HOLMES SIGHTING: With his left foot in a formidable-looking boot and walking with crutches, wide receiver Santonio Holmes was in the Jets locker room after the game. Out for the season with a foot injury, he spent some time talking to owner Woody Johnson and high-fived Jeremy Kerley, but didn’t stop to talk to reporters.
MANGOLD PLAYS THROUGH: Despite leaving the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury, Jets center Nick Mangold came back in the game with his right foot heavily taped. DT Kenrick Ellis left the game with a knee injury late, and WR Clyde Gates left early but said his shoulder was popped back into place and he felt fine. Stay tuned for more info on all three on Tuesday.
HILL TO RETURN: Rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill, who has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, expects to return to practice on Wednesday. Watching from the sideline has been a challenge. “I’m not used to this,” Hill said.
RECEIVERS STEP UP: Tight end Jeff Cumberland scored his first touchdown with a 27-yard catch from Mark Sanchez. The tight end had a career-high 51 receiving yards. ... Jeremy Kerley was the Jets' top receiver for the second time in his career, with 94 yards on five receptions.