NY Jets waive K Sam Ficken, activate OG Greg Van Roten

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets have waived kicker Sam Ficken and activated guard Greg Van Roten.

The NY Jets have announced a few roster moves ahead of their season finale against the New England Patriots on Sunday including the departure of kicker Sam Ficken and the return of an offensive line starter.

The Jets announced on Saturday that they had waived Ficken seemingly ending his tenure with the organization. They also announced that Greg Van Roten had been activated from injured reserve.

Finally, the Jets also signed linebacker Sharif Finch and defensive lineman Tanzel Smart from the practice squad and elevated linebackers Brady Sheldon and Noah Dawkins from the practice squad.

As for Ficken, the 28-year-old returned from injured reserve two weeks ago and made both of his field-goal attempts as well as all three of his extra points. But in Week 16, he ran into a few more difficulties.

Ficken had a field goal and extra-point attempt blocked in the Jets’ 23-16 victory over the Cleveland Browns. And rather than allow him to finish the season, they opted to cut ties just before the final game of the campaign.

The former Los Angeles Rams kicker finishes his season 13-of-15 on field goals and 12-of-15 on extra points, although he fell victim to the blocked kick more than once. In total, he only kicked in nine games due to nagging injuries that kept him sidelined for nearly half the season.

The Jets will opt to roll with Chase McLaughlin in Week 17 with Ficken on the waiver wire. McLaughlin was claimed off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars last month and has made 4-of-5 field goals this season.

This was likely a move for the future with McLaughlin under contract in 2021 and Ficken set to be an exclusive-rights free agent. The Jets clearly don’t see Ficken as a long-term solution and want to see what they have in McLaughlin this week.

The NY Jets will also return one of their offensive line starters in Week 17

Meanwhile, Van Roten is set to make his return after a three-week absence. The veteran guard has been dealing with a foot injury and waiver claim Pat Elflein has started in his place.

Elflein has done an admirable job and it will be interesting to see if the Jets move him over to left guard with Van Roten back or continue to start the underwhelming Josh Andrews instead.

The Jets also ruled cornerback Blessuan Austin out for the final game of the season. Austin has been dealing with a non-COVID-19 related illness and won’t be traveling with the team to New England.

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With just one game remaining, the Jets will look to close this disaster of a season with a three-game win streak and a victory over their arch-rivals.