With wide receiver Clyde Gates out for the season with a shoulder injury, the Jets turned to Josh Cribbs, who signed a contract on Tuesday and could provide a spark for a bland offense.
Cribbs, who has the most all-purpose yards in Browns franchise history, comes to a Jets wide receiver corps in desperate need of a game breaker. With Gates out for the year and Santonio Holmes plagued with a hamstring injury, the Jets are desperately in need of someone who can stretch the field and provide some significant yards after the catch.
“I'm healthy now — 110 percent,” said Cribbs, who was cut by the Raiders during preseason due to a lingering knee injury. “Kind of 111 percent but I'm ready to be used anyway they need me.
“Injuries happen in the NFL and guys need to be ready to step in and the offense doesn't need to beat. You need guys to do that. I'm a guy that's come off the bench and caught 40 passes in Cleveland,” Cribbs said. “I showed up for them and I think I can do the same thing here.”
While he remains high in the Browns' history books in several offensive and special teams statistical categories, his production has taken a sharp drop. Last season in 16 games, he had just seven receptions for 63 yards but still boasted solid kickoff and punt return numbers.
He is also relatively durable, with only four missed games in his eight-year career in Cleveland.
But age and a decline in his high-end speed hurt his chances to get on the field as a wide receiver, and last season he had six fumbles on special teams. With the Jets needing wide receiver talent and depth, he has the chance to become a part of the rotation.
Now he has to seize it.
“This is like a rebirth for me, a fresh start. As a rookie, I came in undrafted and I had to prove to everybody — everyone on the NFL and around the team — that I could play on this team and produce,” Cribbs said. “I have to do that now again just to show everyone that, 'Dang, he still got it.' That's what I want people to be like, 'Oh, man he's still here.' I want that debate to happen. When I start breaking kicks and showing up on offense when they gave me the opportunity. This is a chance for me, a new birth.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.