Jets Villain Gets a 2nd Chance, Young RB Realizes NFL Dream

Austin Walter Jets

Getty New York Jets running back Austin Walter getting a good workout during practice.

The New York Jets went through a flurry of roster moves as they prepare themselves for their Week 14 matchup versus the New Orleans Saints.

The first of which was a mere formality. Veteran wide receiver Corey Davis was officially placed on injured reserve and his 2021 season is over after undergoing core muscle surgery.

On top of that, the green and white cleaned house with several prospects receiving their walking papers:

All of these players exiting have created some new roster spots for the Jets to play with.

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A Polarizing Prospect Gets Another Opportunity

The revolving door at kicker has been hard to stomach for Jets fans. They started the season with rookie placekicker Matt Ammendola.

He was released ahead of the matchup versus the Philadelphia Eagles after losing an open practice completion to newbie Alex Kessman.

Kessman went 0-for-2 with his extra points and his Jets career ended before it ever got a chance to take off.

In his place, the Jets have added Eddy Pineiro, but they created a backup option with Ammendola being brought back on the practice squad.

When he was released a lot of Jets fans were split on the move. Some celebrated it because he was far too inconsistent from deep, but others thought the Jets pulled the plug too soon especially considering how well he kicked from inside of 40 yards:

  • 11-for-11 from inside of 40 yards
  • 2-of-8 from beyond 40 yards

Now he will get to continue to develop on the practice squad and if anything goes wrong at kicker, he’ll get another chance to redeem himself later in the year.

Well Deserved Contract

One of the best feel-good moments of the season happened during the Jets’ lone road win versus the Houston Texans. Austin Walter got his chance to be a key cog in the backfield in a place where he was born and raised.

Walter had nine carries for 38 yards and a touchdown. The talented runner averaged 4.2 per clip and showed scheme familiarity with what Mike LaFleur wanted to run.

On top of that, he has completely leapfrogged former fourth-round pick La’Mical Perine on the depth chart and he looks like he could have a long-term future as a rotational piece.

On Tuesday evening the Jets officially announced that they had signed Walter to the 53-man roster.

He started out on the team back in training camp and had a few blunders in the preseason. Those mistakes cost him his job, but it is really cool to see him get another shot later in the season and he took full advantage of it.

The remainder of this season is no longer about possible postseason play, instead, it is about evaluating this roster from top to bottom. Whoever stands out will be retained and whoever fails will be looking for work this offseason.

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