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Jets sign returner/running back Ty Montgomery

Ravens running back/wide receiver Ty Montgomery works out

Ravens running back/wide receiver Ty Montgomery works out on the field before an NFL game against the Chargers on Dec. 22, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Credit: AP/John Cordes

The Jets bolstered their backfield and return game on Thursday by signing Ty Montgomery to a one-year deal.

The veteran is expected to be running back Le’Veon Bell’s backup, and he could be the Jets' featured kickoff returner. The Jets need one after Pro Bowler Andre Roberts signed with the Bills.

Montgomery, 26, has played running back, wide receiver and returned kickoffs in four seasons with the Packers and Ravens. His versatility made him appealing to the Jets, who met with Montgomery and former Chiefs running back Spencer Ware on Wednesday.

Montgomery’s signing also seems to indicate that new coach Adam Gase is not entirely sold on a couple of young players he inherited.  

Third-year running back Elijah McGuire was slated to the be the No. 2 back behind Bell. Gase had spoken highly of McGuire, who missed half of last season after breaking his foot in camp. McGuire may get a chance to earn the No. 2 spot, but Montgomery is more proven and well-rounded.

The same can be said of the special teams game where rookie Trenton Cannon, who muffed some punts and kickoffs in the preseason. Montgomery has averaged 22.7 yards on 35 kick returns in his career.

A third-round pick of the Packers in 2015 out of Stanford, Montgomery began his career as a receiver but he transitioned to running back the following season. Montgomery has rushed for 932 yards on 192 carries and scored seven touchdowns. He’s also caught 107 passes for 892 yards and three scores.

He began last season with the Packers but was traded to the Ravens in October two days after a major special teams gaffe.

Montgomery was supposed to take a knee in the end zone to give Aaron Rodgers a chance at a game-winning drive against the Rams. Instead Montgomery ran the ball out of the end zone and fumbled, and the Packers lost the game.

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