Jets sign kick returner/wide receiver Josh Cribbs

Tight end Jordan Cameron celebrates after scoring a Tight end Jordan Cameron celebrates after scoring a touchdown with Josh Cribbs during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Nov. 25, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Apparently, the third time's a charm for Josh Cribbs.

A day after Rex Ryan said the Jets were "in the market" for a playmaker, the team announced Tuesday that they have signed Cribbs, a three-time Pro Bowl kick returner/wide receiver.

Cribbs will take the place of Clyde Gates, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder injury, along with running back Mike Goodson (ACL, MCL tears). In corresponding moves, the Jets also added wideout Greg Salas from the Eagles practice squad to the active roster and signed former Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet to the practice squad.

With injuries mounting, it was no surprise the Jets made roster moves. Veteran receiver Santonio Holmes is still nursing a hamstring injury and tight end Kellen Winslow is serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. And with an important rematch with the Patriots looming, the Jets need healthy offensive weapons for rookie quarterback Geno Smith.

"I think we're in the market to look at anything that can help our team," Ryan said Monday, during his weekly ESPN Radio spot. "With Goodson out, we'll need a playmaker . . . We'll certainly be looking."

Gates, who was injured in Sunday's loss to the Steelers, said Monday that he hoped to play this weekend. At the time, however, he still was awaiting MRI results on his left shoulder.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Cribbs, 30, visited the Jets in May, but general manager John Idzik said the former Brown and Raider "wasn't quite there" in his recovery from a torn meniscus. The Jets brought him in two weeks ago for another workout but Cribbs left without a deal.

Cribbs hasn't played a regular-season game since 2012 and was cut in the preseason by the Raiders. But he could be an asset for the Jets if he remains healthy. Though he's primarily known for being a threat in the return game, Cribbs was a college quarterback at Kent State -- so there's always a chance offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg could use him in the Wildcat package.

But Cribbs' main focus will be bringing an immediate spark to special teams. The Jets rank 27th in the NFL in kickoff returns, averaging 20.3 yards. Cribbs and former Jet Leon Washington share the NFL record for kickoff return touchdowns (eight).

Salas, a fourth-round pick by the Rams in 2011, has 27 catches for 264 yards in seven games with the Rams and Patriots. The 6-2, 210-pound receiver was traded to New England in September 2012 in exchange for a fifth-round pick. The Patriots released the Hawaii product in November 2012 and Salas, 25, was claimed off waivers by the Eagles.

Notes & quotes: Patriots LB Jerod Mayo, the team's leading tackler, could miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery Tuesday to repair a torn pectoral muscle, according to Yahoo Sports. New England, which faces the Jets Sunday at MetLife Stadium, recently placed five-time Pro Bowler Vince Wilfork (Achilles) on injured reserve.

You also may be interested in: