Jets general manager Joe Douglas reached into his Baltimore Ravens past to find a roster replacement for injured linebacker Avery Williamson.
The Jets announced on Saturday that they have agreed to a deal with eighth-year linebacker Albert McClellan.
The 6-2, 250-pound McClellan, 33, served mainly as a backup and a special teams contributor after signing with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of Marshall in 2010. He split last season between the Ravens and the Patriots and was on a Super Bowl winner for the second time.
Williamson, 27, entering the second season of a three-year, $22 million deal with the Jets after four seasons with the Titans, tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in the second quarter of Thursday night’s 22-10 preseason win over the Falcons at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium and will miss the upcoming season. He was placed on injured reserve.
Williamson, who led the Jets with 120 tackles last season, remained in Thursday’s game after most of the first-team defense had been removed. He was injured when he collided with teammate Tevaughn Campbell while in pass coverage against Falcons running back Brian Hill in the end zone.
“Everyone is slotted a certain amount of snaps,” coach Adam Gase said when asked about the decision to keep Williamson in Thursday’s game. “The last two weeks, he’s just stayed in there a little longer.”
Williamson was calling the defensive plays when he was injured, but the Jets signed former Ravens Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley to a five-year, $85 million deal ($51 million guaranteed) to handle those responsibilities this season.
McClellan helped Baltimore to a Super Bowl XLVII win over the 49ers in 2013 and was Mosley’s teammate with the Ravens from 2014-18. He has played in 103 regular-season games and made 24 starts, recording 153 tackles, three sacks and five fumble recoveries.
McClellan missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL but returned last season to play six games with the Ravens and seven with the Patriots. That included blocking two punts against the Dolphins in Week 14 and making one tackle in the Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
Douglas, hired by the Jets in June, worked for the Ravens from 2000-15.