Super Bowl 53: Who’s the only former New York Jets player in the game?
By Justin Fried
Super Bowl 53 is fast approaching and the big game will be void of former New York Jets players with the exception of one individual, former return man JoJo Natson.
The New York Jets will not be heavily represented in this year’s Super Bowl with just one former player taking part in the big game. Former kick and punt returner JoJo Natson will be playing in the contest as a member of the Los Angeles Rams just one year after leaving the Jets.
Jets fans may remember Natson as just one player in a long line of failed return men for the team over the past few years. However, Natson’s 2018 season was a significant improvement on his year with the Jets.
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Natson averaged an impressive 10.8 yards per punt return, a far cry from his atrocious 2018 season. While the undersized Natson was limited to punt returns and only returned six kicks, his punt return abilities were enough for him to maintain a role on the team.
After being released by the Jets in April, Natson was picked up by the Rams in July but was waived by the team during final roster cuts. An early-season injury to normal return man Pharoh Cooper opened up a roster spot for the Akron product.
Natson retained the punt return job once Cooper returned from injury, a role he will have heading into the Super Bowl. His success in 2018 is hard to believe considering his record low numbers last season.
Natson averaged a terrible 2.4 yards per punt return with the Jets which looks awful at first glance but is even worse when it’s put in historical context. To find a player who averaged as few yards per punt return as Natson with as many attempts, you have to go all the way back to 1965 when Abe Woodson of the St. Louis Cardinals averaged 0.8 yards per return.
Yes, it’s been that long.
Regardless, Jets fans hoping for a Rams victory on Sunday will be rooting for Natson to make a play or two to help out his new team. At the very least they’ll be hoping he does better than he did during his time with the Jets.