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Joe McKnight earns his way out of the doghouse

Sunday’s 38-7 Jets win over the Bills had a preseason feel to it, right down to the heavy dose of running back Joe McKnight for the Jets.

McKnight was last seen playing a comic relief role on “Hard Knocks” because of his habit of vomiting during practices and fumbling during games. Rex Ryan even admitted that McKnight was being kept on the team at the expense of other players — Chauncey Washington and, more painfully for Jets fans, Danny Woodhead — simply because he was a fourth-round pick. McKnight was inactive most weeks and limited to special teams work when he did find his way to the field.

Until Sunday, that is. With Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson both inactive to rest for the playoffs, McKnight got the ball 32 times against the Bills and turned in a strong performance. He finished with 158 yards, didn’t fumble and ended a disappointing season with a high note. Those 158 yards were the most by a Jets rookie since 1964.

“He earned his way into the doghouse, and then he earned his way out of it,” general manager Mike Tannenbaum said after the game.

One good game against a bad team in Week 17 doesn’t necessarily augur better days ahead for McKnight. He’ll be back on the bench next week, but Sunday’s glimmer should earn McKnight another long look next summer.

Assuming, of course, that there is a next summer.

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9 Responses to “Joe McKnight earns his way out of the doghouse”
  1. jackofnotrades says: Jan 3, 2011 9:31 AM

    crazy this man was kept over woodhead. that boy can play.

  2. dilberry says: Jan 3, 2011 9:38 AM

    The difference between McKnight and Woodhead is Woodhead will still be in the league in 5 years.

  3. ickeywoods says: Jan 3, 2011 9:55 AM

    Augur? Really? Did you get a new thesaurus for Christmas Josh?

  4. mistrezzrachael says: Jan 3, 2011 10:11 AM

    Woodhead a premier NFL player. McKnight may hang on another year or 2..otherwise another overrated USC bust.

    Dropping Woodhead may be Rex’s dumbest move…Guess he must not have pretty feet.

  5. bspurloc says: Jan 3, 2011 10:23 AM

    like I said beginning of the year and everyone else said I was clueless…..

    dropping woodhead was stupid.

    now get off my wagon.

  6. cup1981 says: Jan 3, 2011 10:25 AM

    The difference between McKnight and Woodhead is Woodhead will still be in the league in 5 years


    I agree…. Ir he doesn’t get broken in half before then. lol. The guy is gutsy as hell and plays his ass of, but 5’9″ 200 lb. WR/RBs usually do not hold up well in the NFL…

  7. reddskeletor says: Jan 3, 2011 10:39 AM

    Yeah, does anyone believe that he’s actually 5’9″ and 200 lbs (Translation from NFL inflation to real world: 5’6″ and 160 lbs).

  8. robsterny says: Jan 3, 2011 11:17 AM

    Woodhead is maybe 5′ 6″…I saw him at an open practice before the Jets cut him….He was gutsy,fast,motivated..I have to agree …cutting him loose was a bad move….But I have to say I love to watch him play and hope he does well.

    As far as McKnight goes …we dont know yet! Dont right guys off because you dont like the team….Would you still be cheering for Woodhead if he stayed a Jet?…I think not!…Put away the crystal ball..they dont work..nobody here can say what the future will bring for these two guys.

  9. realitypolice says: Jan 3, 2011 11:21 AM

    Joe McKnight- the master of doing just enough to hang around.

    Since when are fourth round picks assured roster spots? I thought he was drafted higher.

    Now the move to keep him over Washington and Woodhead makes even less sense.

    Mike Tannebaum would be well served next summer to pay more attention to what’s going on on the field and less time thinking of ways to look funny on TV.

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