Kicking Change: Ammendola Released, Kessman Signed
The Jets announced that they have made a kicking change. Rookie kicker Matt Ammendola was on thin ice after a rough start, and with a big miss last week he clearly ran out of time. The full release outlining all the roster moves for the game vs the Eagles on Sunday is below.
The Jets have signed K Alex Kessman to the active roster and released K Matt Ammendola. The Green & White also elevated TE Dan Brown, DE Ronnie Blair and RB Austin Walter from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
Kessman (6-3, 190) signed with the Jets’ practice squad Nov. 23. He first joined the Chargers in May as an undrafted free agent out of Pitt. He played with the Panthers from 2017-20 and ranked third in school history with 341 points. Kessman made 69 of 96 field goals (71.9%) and 134 of 138 extra points (97.1%). He set Pitt records for 50-yard field goals in a career (12) and season (4 in both 2018 and 2020), and his 66.7% rate from 50-plus yards set an NCAA record. Kessman, from Clarkstown, MI, earned second-team All-ACC honors and was named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award.
Ammendola (5-9, 195) signed with the Green & White July 30th and has been the team’s kicker through the first 11 games. He made 68.4% of his field goals (13 of 19) with a long of 49 and 93.3% of his extra points (14 of 15). He also handled kickoffs for the team with a touchback rate of 57.4%. Ammendola went undrafted out of Oklahoma State in 2020.
Brown (6-5, 247), who has spent the last three seasons with the Jets, re-joined the team Nov. 30. He he was traded to the Chiefs Nov. 2 in exchange for OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and was released Nov. 20. Brown totaled 9 catches, 103 yards and 1 touchdown in 39 games (6 starts) for the Green & White. He also took 780 snaps on special teams and led the unit with 335 in 2020. He first signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of James Madison in 2015. Brown also played for the Bears from 2016-18 and has 44 catches, 420 yards and 2 TDs in 81 games (12 starts) over six and a half seasons.
Blair (6-4, 270) was elevated for each of the past three games and had 15 tackles and 1 sack on 87 defensive snaps. He signed with the Jets in June, was a final cut and then added to the practice squad. Waived by the 49ers in March, he was drafted by San Francisco in the fifth round in 2016 out of Appalachian State. Blair has played 50 games (two starts) and recorded 103 tackles, 23 TFLs, 14.5 sacks, 28 QB hits, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery.
Walter (5-8, 202) was elevated for last week’s win over the Texans where he ran for 38 yards on 9 carries including his first NFL touchdown. He signed to the practice squad Oct. 5 after he spent the summer with the Green & White. He spent last season on San Francisco’s practice squad and originally signed with the San Francisco in May 2019 as an undrafted free agent out of Rice. Walter also spent time with the Giants in the 2019 season before he joined the Dallas Renegades of the XFL.