Saalim Hakim, the Jets second-year wide receiver who never has caught an NFL pass, on Sunday played one snap on defense in the 43-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills. And made what technically was a touchdown-saving tackle.
Hakim was aided by the fact that Buffalo rookie Sammy Watkins, sailing toward the end zone on the end of an 84-yard pass play, began his celebration five yards too early.
Hakim, whose pursuit through the play added to Watkins' embarrassment of note doing the same, ambushed the startled Watkins from behind. Buffalo scored two plays later, but that wasn't Hakim's fault.
"Never give up, you know what I mean?" said Hakim, who played for Palomar College, a community college in southern California, and for the Las Vegas Locomotives (coached by former Giants head coach Jim Fassel) of the defunct United Football League, then was signed briefly by the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints before the Jets picked him up last year.
Used exclusively on special teams, Hakim said, "Anybody. He ain't getting away. I ain't giving up on nobody. I'm chasing anybody. Go back and cover. He catches the ball, I'm going to keep chasing him. I'll play any position they want me to. I'm going to give it my all."
As for Watkins, the former Clemson star who later slipped a tackle by Jets defender Darrin Walls to complete a 61-yard pass-run touchdown from Kyle Orton, "I was shocked" to be caught by Hakim.
"I looked at the jumbotron," Watkins said, "and thought I had three or four yards on him. He must have been right there. I found out he is world-class. Ten-flat guy.
"I'm going to get in trouble with my coach," Watkins realized. "Something will happen."