Ryan Griffin
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

New York Jets tight end Ryan Griffin, who tallied two scores in Jacksonville, deserves a ton of credit for his play this season. 

There hasn’t been much to be excited about in relationship to the New York Jets. Aside from the shocking win against the Dallas Cowboys, the Jets have been a complete train wreck on both sides of the ball.

Players that were expected to produce aren’t and it’s beginning to take a toll. Times like these seem to always force the positives to shine brighter, and one such player who falls under the positive column is tight end Ryan Griffin.

Griffin was signed primarily for his pass-catching ability. Before the start of the season, the other Jets tight ends on the roster were primarily of the blocking variety. And with Chris Herndon scheduled to be out the first four games due to suspension, it seemed like a low-risk high reward signing.

Over the past few weeks, the reward has been worth the risk.

Since returning from suspension, Herndon has not played due to a hamstring injury. This has opened the door for more Griffin opportunities. He’s not a volume catcher, but makes plays when his number is called. During the Jets upset win over the Cowboys, Griffin caught three passes for 28 yards and a touchdown.

The following week, Griffin, much like the rest of the Jets passing game was nowhere to be found. However, he got right back to form in the Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Griffin caught all four of his targets, scored both of New York’s touchdowns and even caught the two-point conversion. His 66 receiving yards also led all Jets receivers.

On his first score, Griffin showed surprising speed in the open field as he scampered for the 24-yard score.

Griffin is in his first season with New York. A former member of the Houston Texans, Griffin was released by the team back in May after he was arrested for public intoxication and vandalism the night of the 2019 NFL Draft. A seven-year pro, Griffin had spent his first six seasons in the league with Houston, racking up 136 receptions, 1491 yards and seven touchdowns.

So far this year, Griffin has 13 receptions for 112 yards and three touchdowns. He’s by no means playing at a level that would cause concern over Herndon’s starting spot. However, once Herndon does come back, it’ll be interesting to see how Adam Gase decides to utilize Griffin within the offense.

Having another big-bodied tight end on the field that can catch will be a big plus for Sam Darnold and this offense, a unit that has struggled all year to move the ball.

Justin Thomas is a graduate of Temple University. While there, he was an on-air sports talk host for W.H.I.P as well as sports reporter for the Temple yearbook. Over the past few years, Justin has written for a few publications including Sports Illustrated. On top of writing for ESNY, Justin is also a Senior Writer for NetsRepublic.com and has had work featured on Bleacher Report.