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WR Kenbrell Thompkins Returns to Jets

He Played for Green & White in 2015; S Doug Middleton Waived/Injured After Tearing Pectoral Muscle


The Jets have signed wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins and have waived/injured safety Doug Middleton.

Thompkins (6'0", 195) returns to the Green & White after playing the second half of the 2015 season with them. In seven games (two starts) that year, he had 17 receptions for 165 yards (9.7 yards/catch) and no touchdowns.

But he had a memorable Week 15 catch for 43 yards on a long throw from Ryan Fitzpatrick that flipped the field from the Jets' 31-yard line to the Dallas 26. That set the stage for Ryan Bullock's go-ahead 40-yard field goal with 36 seconds to play that lifted the Jets over the Cowboys, 19-16.

Thompkins began his pro career as an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati with New England after the 2013 NFL Draft. He played for the Patriots in 2013, was waived in '14 and went to Oakland, was waived by the Raiders on final cutdown day in '15 and was signed to New England's practice squad.

On Sept. 30, 2015, he was released from the Pats' practice squad and a week later joined the Jets' practice squad. Two weeks after that, he was signed to the active roster. He was waived/injured in September 2016.

For his career, Thompkins has played in 33 games (17 starts) with 70 receptions for 893 yards (12.8 yards/catch) and four touchdowns.

Middleton (6'0", 210), the first-year safety out of Appalachian State, was in for 55 plays in the Jets' preseason opener against Tennessee on Saturday night before tearing a pectoral muscle on his last play, a hard tackle in punt coverage with 3:46 to play.

The Jets signed him as a free agent after the 2016 draft, waived him during final cutdown day, signed him to the practice squad, then activated him in December. In the last four games last year he was in for 41 defensive snaps and 61 special teams plays.

As a member of the Jets' kickoff coverage team in the season finale against Buffalo, Middleton added his name to the Jets and NFL record books. When the Bills failed to recover Nick Folk's bouncing kickoff, Middleton swooped in for a heads-up recovery of the live ball in the end zone. It was the first end zone recovery of a live kickoff for a touchdown in the NFL since 1984 and the first time ever in a Jets game, either for or against the Jets.

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