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 off-season 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 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.
New York's offence was already without top receiver Santonio Holmes, who is nursing a hamstring injury, and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., who was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. With the losses of Gates and Goodson for the season, the Jets were seriously short-handed on offence.
Salas was a fourth-round pick of St. Louis out of Hawaii in 2011, and had 27 catches for 264 yards as a rookie. He was traded to New England before last season, but was later claimed off waivers by Philadelphia. Salas had yet to play this season for the Eagles.
Maysonet went undrafted after running for 1,964 yards and 21 touchdowns during his senior season. He was signed in April by Philadelphia, and also spent time with Cleveland, Indianapolis and San Diego this season.