FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The show’s over for Steve Weatherford and the New York Jets.
The veteran punter was released Wednesday, just four days after he was signed in a pinch while he was in the middle of co-hosting a radio show.
Weatherford punted for the Jets on Sunday at New England as an emergency replacement for Ryan Quigley, who had an infection in his right shin and was unavailable. Weatherford, who played for the Jets from 2009-10, averaged just 40.3 yards, with a net of 30.8, on four punts in the 30-23 loss to the Patriots.
Article continues below ...
He acknowledged after the game that ”it just wasn’t there,” having not punted in a game since being cut by the Giants last month. Given the timing, the New Jersey resident was the team’s most convenient option, and Weatherford anticipated he would be reunited with the Jets for likely just one game.
Coach Todd Bowles said Monday the Jets would get an update Wednesday on Quigley, who was taking antibiotics, and make a decision on the punting situation. Quigley, who was a full participant at practice Wednesday, healed enough for the team to part ways with Weatherford.
”Thank you to (at)nyjets for the fun experience to represent New York once more,” Weatherford wrote on his Twitter page. ”I enjoyed every moment. Best of luck & thank you. (hash)Blessed.”
Weatherford was in a commercial break Saturday on 98.7 ESPN New York when the team called his cellphone and offered him a job. He accepted the gig, but had to rush off the phone as the show went back live on-air.
After finishing the broadcast, Weatherford rushed from the studio in Manhattan and met the team at its training facility before the Jets left for New England.
”Obviously, he is going to be a little rusty because he probably hadn’t punted in a while,” Bowles said Monday. ”I know working out is one thing, but going out there every day and just practicing your craft is another. But under the circumstances I thought he did OK.”
Quigley was injured when his punt was blocked by Washington on Oct. 18. He said he had two cuts on his right shin and had them treated after the game and during the week. But last Friday night, his shin started to swell and it really blew up Saturday morning.
”I was thinking it was a bad bruise or something, but it was infected,” Quigley said Wednesday. ”I figured, `OK, I can still play.”’
But team doctors and athletic trainers decided to not risk the infection getting into his blood. Quigley, who said it wasn’t a MRSA infection, was put on antibiotics and rested while the team played at New England.
”For me, it didn’t really hit me until Sunday,” Quigley said. ”I was like, `Wow, this (infection) is still here. It’s getting bigger.’ My parents were freaking out a little bit.”
He credited the doctors for helping him heal quickly, adding that he felt good punting at practice and will be ready against Oakland on Sunday.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL