In wake of the Jets matchup with the Oakland Raiders this Sunday, the team announced a pair of roster transactions Friday afternoon.
According to the Jets official Twitter account, New York has activated running back Stevan Ridley off the physically unable to perform list. In order to make room for Ridley, the Jets waived/injured receiver Chris Owusu.
Ridley, 26, has been working his way back from a torn MCL and ACL that he suffered last year as a member of the New England Patriots. The back sat out all of the Jets voluntary offseason workouts, training camp and the first six weeks of the regular season before returning to practice last week.
Speaking to the media, Jets coach Todd Bowles said New York was "close" to activating Ridley before the Jets matchup with the Patriots, but elected not to. The injury to Jets punter Ryan Quigley likely played a role in the team giving Ridley another week to prepare.
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Originally selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Ridley was once considered an up-and-coming back in the NFL. In 2012, his second year in the NFL, Ridley rushed for 1,263 yards, averaged 4.4 yards per carry and scored 12 touchdowns. The back, and those around the Patriots, had high expectations entering year three.
But those expectations were never met. Ridley struggled to hold onto the football, fumbling four times in 2012, and another three times in 2013, which led to his benching. Since his breakout sophomore campaign, Ridley has never rushed for more than 773 yards in a season.
Last year, Ridley appeared to be working his way back into the Patriots running back rotation, but against the Bills on Oct. 12, a Buffalo defender dove at Ridley's legs. His knee bent the wrong way, and further tests reveled that Ridley had torn both his ACL and MCL. He's been working his way back ever since.
"He's full speed," Bowles said. "This is his second week of practice, he's made a lot of progress. If we decide to do something with him, I'll be real comfortable."
In order to make room for Ridley, the Jets waived Owusu, who suffered the fifth concussion of his career, and second in as many months, in Sunday's loss to New England.
Originally an undrafted free agent signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Owusu made his way to the Jets a season ago off the waiver wire and had taken monumental strides this year. Dating back to the Jets OTAs, Owusu was receiving the lion's share of first-team reps in three-wide sets with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. A concussion in August sidelined Owusu for three weeks, but he worked his way back and played in the Jets final preseason game and regular season opener.
In the second game of the season, Owusu suffered a knee injury and missed the ensuing four weeks. New England was his first game back.
In three games, Owusu caught six passes for 80 yards. If the receiver clears the waiver wire, a likely scenario, he can be placed on the Jets injured reserve.