The Jets are moving backup running back Joe McKnight to defensive back after the season-ending injury to Pro Bowl cornerback Darrell Revis, Rex Ryan told reporters at practice today.
Moving an offensive player to defense is always a desperation move. The Patriots famously played wide receiver Julian Edelman at DB last year when their secondary was in shambles.
But the fact that Revis is by far the team's most important defender makes the Jets' situation even more dire.
McKnight was the most coveted recruit in the country coming out of high school, but he has been a non-factor since the Jets drafted him in 2010. According to Bruce Feldman of CBS, McKnight has the raw talent to play corner:
Joe McKnight getting reps at CB. Years ago Ken Norton Jr said if he comes to USC as CB, he'd be there 3 yrs & come out as a #1 pick.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) September 26, 2012
The problem with taking too much hope in this statement is that Norton was saying he could play corner in the NFL after three years of practice. McKnight will try to play corner after five days of practice.
Kyle Wilson, himself a bit of a disappointing draft pick, will replace Revis in the starting lineup, and McKnight will likely see limited action in passing situations.