New York Jets running back Joe McKnight will have an increased role in the team’s defensive secondary following All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis’s season-ending knee injury.
McKnight, 24, worked this week with the cornerbacks both on the practice field and in meetings, coach Rex Ryan said today at a news conference. He will also remain involved in the National Football League team’s offense when the Jets (2-1) host the San Francisco 49ers (2-1) on Sept. 30 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“He’s got the speed, the size, the athleticism, the ball skills, everything you look for in a corner,” Ryan said of the 5-foot-11, 205-pound McKnight. “It’s just going to take time.”
Ryan was not specific on how often McKnight would be used on defense this weekend or in the weeks ahead.
Revis, 27, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who Ryan calls the top defensive player in the league, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during New York’s 23-20 overtime victory against the Miami Dolphins last weekend. He will miss the rest of the season.
“We have to move on, and we will,” Ryan said. “I like our plan going into the game. We’ll do multiple things and that’s how we’re going to approach it.”
Antonio Cromartie will move to the No. 1 cornerback spot on the depth chart in Revis’s absence, and third-year player Kyle Wilson will start opposite him, Ryan said.
McKnight played some cornerback in high school, but was used exclusively on offense at the University of Southern California. He was selected by New York in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft and rushed for a career-high 189 yards in his first season.
Last year, McKnight appeared in three games, gaining 14 yards on three carries.