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Jets cut rookie receiver/punt returner Jalen Saunders

Jets wide receiver Jalen Saunders and defensive back

Jets wide receiver Jalen Saunders and defensive back Ahmad Dixon #36 of the Chicago Bears dive for a loose ball during a game at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 22, 2014. Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The Jets made a flurry of transactions yesterday in an attempt to add speed to their receiving corps and counterbalance David Nelson's ankle injury.

In a surprising move, they waived fourth-round draft pick Jalen Saunders and signed free-agent wide receivers T.J. Graham and Chris Owusu. Hours after the Graham signing was official, the team announced cornerback LeQuan Lewis had been cut to make room for Owusu.

Nelson sprained his left ankle in the second quarter of Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Lions and Jets coach Rex Ryan hinted it could be a significant injury. "The fact that he didn't finish the game will lead you to believe that it's a pretty good ankle [sprain]," he said.

Saunders was inactive against the Lions after fumbling a punt Sept. 22 against the Bears. Graham, a third-round pick of the Bills in 2012, was claimed off waivers by Tennessee in August and cut last week by the Titans.

The 6-foot Owusu ran a 4.36-second, 40-yard dash at the 2012 NFL combine but was not drafted. He was released last Tuesday by the Bucs after playing in 17 games over three seasons.

Ryan said Saunders' release was due to the fact that they liked Graham's speed and were pleased with Walter Powell as their punt returner Sunday. Lewis, meanwhile, was flagged twice for penalties against the Lions after being promoted from the practice squad last week.

 

Bad break for Bohanon

Unbeknownst to the coaching staff, fullback Tommy Bohanon played the second half of Sunday's game with a broken collarbone. "That ought to tell you about the kind of toughness he has," Ryan said of the 2012 draft pick. After Bohanon gets a second opinion today, the Jets will decide whether he'll be placed on short-term or season-ending injured reserve. The team does plan to bring in other fullbacks for tryouts, Ryan said.

 

Jet streams

In other injury news, Ryan said he's "confident" Dee Milliner (quadriceps) will play Sunday vs. San Diego . . . Ryan said Damon Harrison (ankle), Antonio Allen (unspecified injury) and rookie Calvin Pryor (thigh contusion) will be fine . . . Down by a touchdown with under four minutes remaining Sunday, Ryan considered going for it on fourth-and-2 from the Jets' 24-yard line. Instead, the Jets punted. "I thought we could make them go three-and-out and then get the ball right back," he explained. But the Lions kept the ball the rest of the way.

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