Jets Cut Rookie LB in Favor of Veteran WR Reunion

Malik Taylor

Getty The New York Jets have re-signed wide receiver Malik Taylor to the practice squad.

From wild quarterback theories to Zach Wilson arguments, the New York Jets community has been absolute chaos after the season-ending injury to Aaron Rodgers.

There was a minor roster move to report on September 12, however, as the Jets announced that they are releasing rookie linebacker Caleb Johnson off of the practice squad. Returning in his place will be veteran wide receiver Malik Taylor.

A former Green Bay Packers contributor, Taylor first entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019. He joined the Jets in December of 2022, and stuck around for training camp and preseason after the organization acquired Rodgers.

Fans might remember Taylor from Wilson’s preseason bomb during the Hall of Fame game — which was completed for a gain of 57 yards.

The 27-year-old receiver is predominantly a deep threat with special teams experience as a returner. He is now the first and only wideout with a role on the NYJ practice squad.

Jets LB Caleb Johnson Put Together Solid Preseason

Johnson was a promising UDFA out of Miami that was awarded guaranteed money by the Jets. He played in all four preseason outings, registering 86 defensive snaps according to Pro Football Focus.

Over that span, Johnson graded out favorably with 13 total tackles (none missed), five key defensive stops and zero catches allowed off three targets. Those stats yielded a 73.3 overall rating with an 80.1 on run defense and an 83.2 as a tackler.

In 12 games with the Miami Hurricanes in 2022, Johnson accumulated 48 total tackles (26 solo), 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He profiled as an understudy behind Quincy Williams and C.J. Mosley.

Jets Work Out 4 Veteran Offensive Linemen After Aaron Rodgers Injury

The Jets also looked at some offensive tackle help on September 12. ESPN NFL insider Field Yates relayed the news.

“The Jets tried out several veteran free agent OL: Dennis Kelly, Cameron Erving, DJ Fluker [and] Rashaad Coward.”

Fluker is probably the headliner out of this group. Although the 32-year-old has not played in a regular season NFL game since 2020, he’s recently gone viral for his beastly work ethic in the gym as he attempts a comeback.

A former top-11 first-round selection in 2013, the versatile blocker has come a long way. He can play guard or tackle, and generally lines up on the righthand side of the OL.

Kelly is a swing tackle that’s been in the league since 2012 — except he’s managed to stick around. He last appeared with the Indianapolis Colts in 2022, starting three games and suiting up for 16.

Erving bears similarities to both. Like Fluker, he’s a former first rounder who has fallen on hard times. He was drafted 19th overall in 2015 and has dealt with nagging injuries throughout his career.

Despite being versatile enough to play the interior, Erving is known as more of a swing tackle like Kelly. He has 56 career starts to his name, the last of which came in 2021 (nine starts for Carolina).

Finally, Coward is a former undrafted prospect out of Sheepshead Bay, New York. He turns 29 years old in November, and has 18 starts at guard throughout his career.

Coward spent some time with Arizona in 2022 before making his way to Houston for training camp and preseason this summer. All four are depth options for the Jets to consider for their practice squad.

Ex-Jets CB Lamar Jackson Signs With Panthers

Lastly, former Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson turned up again with the Carolina Panthers practice squad on September 12. Panthers writer Augusta Stone was the first to report.

Jackson began his NFL career with the Jets as a UDFA in 2020. After starting six games as a rookie, the young DB was released at the end of 2021 training camp — after the regime change from Adam Gase and Gregg Williams to Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich.

He spent some time with Chicago, Denver and Kansas City after that. The Chiefs were the last to cut him at the 53-man deadline this August.

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