NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gang Green decided to shuffle their already thin wide receiver deck ahead of Sunday’s showdown with the Minnesota Vikings.
The Jets on Saturday announced the release of veteran wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, who has been dealing with a nagging groin injury, and the simultaneous promotion of wide receiver Deontay Burnett from the team’s practice squad.
With Pryor unlikely to play Sunday against Minnesota and Quincy Enunwa out with a sprained ankle, the Jets were already short-handed at receiver. Burnett was a likely choice to be added to the roster, since he was a teammate of quarterback Sam Darnold at USC. Burnett was signed by Tennessee as an undrafted free agent in May and waived when the Titans made their final cuts last month. New York signed him to the practice squad a few days later.
Pryor, 29, had 14 catches for 235 yards and two touchdowns — one in each of the last two games — but was hurt last Sunday against Indianapolis. The former Washington wideout signed with New York after one disappointing season with the Redskins.
A top high school recruit from southwestern Pennsylvania, Pryor was the starting quarterback for Ohio State from 2008-10 and became one of college football’s most exciting players. He threw for 6,177 yards and 57 touchdowns and ran for 2,164 yards and 17 scores in three seasons with the Buckeyes.
But Pryor withdrew from Ohio State in June 2011 after a memorabilia-for-cash-and-tattoos scandal that resulted in a five-game suspension and ultimately led to coach Jim Tressel’s resignation. Two months later, Pryor was selected by Oakland in the NFL supplemental draft.
He played in just four games during his first two seasons with the Raiders, including one start at quarterback. Pryor started nine games in 2013 with shaky results, throwing for two TDs and 11 interceptions before being benched in favor of Matt McGloin following a sprained knee ligament earlier in the season.
Pryor was traded to Seattle before the 2014 NFL draft, but was among the Seahawks’ final cuts. He sat out the entire season despite having workouts with several teams. Kansas City signed him in January 2015, but then released him five months later. Pryor briefly joined Cincinnati, but was again cut — and then announced that he would be willing to play wide receiver on a full-time basis.
Cleveland claimed Pryor off waivers and he played in three games for the Browns, who named him a starter at wide receiver the following season. Despite still being raw at the position, Pryor’s athleticism and versatility was on full display in 2016 as he led the Browns in receptions, yards receiving, TD catches, yards per game and yards per catch.
In a game at Miami, he became the first player since Hall of Famer Frank Gifford of the Giants in 1959 to have at least 120 yards receiving (144), 30 yards passing (35) and 20 yards rushing (25) in a game. He also played a snap at safety and became the first player since San Francisco’s Billy Kilmer in 1964 to have three catches, carries and passes in a game.
With the Jets, Pryor is reunited with two teammates from that Cleveland team: quarterback Josh McCown and running back Isaiah Crowell.
Pryor parlayed his promising season with the Browns into a nice payday with the Redskins, and things started off well as he had six catches for 66 yards in the opener. But his production was inconsistent from that point before the ankle injury ended his season — and, it turned out, his tenure in Washington — after Week 11.
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