Jets’ David Nelson enjoyed breakout return against Patriots

David Nelson
David Nelson proved to be an important safety valve for Geno Smith against New England.
Credit: Getty Images

It has been a long road back for Jets wide receiver David Nelson, who was too tired after Sunday’s 30-27 overtime win over the Patriots to do anything but stand at the middle of the field and smile.

Nelson, though, liked what he saw as he stood there.

Nelson missed all but one game of last season for the Bills with a torn ligament in his right knee. After spending training camp with the Browns, he was cut when it was determined he wasn’t all the way back in his recovery. But after four catches for 80 yards on Sunday, Nelson appears to be back and as good as ever.

It was the most receiving yards he’s had since Sept. 25, 2011 and Nelson joked – and perhaps rightly so – that Sunday represented his highest snap count in over two years.

“I was out there exhausted. I got a little emotional after the game – not just the victory but just knowing how far I’ve come in the past year and how many obstacles I’ve had to overcome in my career and my personal life,” Nelson said. “This past year has been the hardest year of my life. To stand there at that the 50-yard line after beating the New England Patriots and playing a full game and playing the way I did, it was very satisfying for me.”

Undrafted out of Florida, Nelson was always a hard worker in college and it is that work ethic that not only got him to the NFL, but also got him back on the field when the Bills and Browns turned their back on him.

The Jets brought Nelson in for a workout a couple weeks before he signed with the team in Week 5. There were questions about his knee and his durability, things he says are no longer an issue.

Nelson blocks well and runs relatively good routes. If he is healthy, he can help an offense that has been without wide receiver Santonio Holmes for the past three weeks and tight end Kellen Winslow, who is halfway through his suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

The Jets also lost Clyde Gates for the season with a shoulder injury.

Head coach Rex Ryan called Nelson “a great pickup for us.”

“The fact that he’s come in and contributed the way that he has is really impressive,” Ryan said.

Nelson is a big body with fairly reliable hands, something the team hasn’t had in a dynamic wide receiver since Plaxico Burress. And with a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith, Nelson has the frame to provide a big down-field target.

“That’s been my niche, to be that guy when a play has to be made or a first down needs to be made or a quarterback looking for somebody. It has been my niche to be a reliable receiver,” Nelson said. “As Geno becomes more comfortable with me we will be able to continue that chemistry [and] build that camaraderie. I’m really just here to do whatever this coaching staff needs me to do to win games.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Movies

Review: 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'…

The belated sequel "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" makes one question whether the first one may have been not so hot. Still, Eva Green vamping!

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…