Valentine Holmes has signed on to New York Jets’ practice squad despite at least five eager NRL teams calling his manager to check if he might be returning to Australia.
Valentine Holmes has impressed in his NFL debut showing glimpses of the soft hands and speed that made him one of the NRL’s lethal weapons.
Holmes was anchored on the sideline for the first three quarters of the New York Jets’ pre-season opener against the New York Giants on Thursday, but made the most of his opportunities in the final period.
The Giants won the game 31-22 at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.
Holmes, as a running back, made a gain of two yards on his first play and on his second carry was stopped for a loss of one yard.
Then on back-to-back plays caught two passes from quarterback Luke Falk in the open field to show his speed.
Holmes made a gain of 14 yards from his first catch before getting crunched by Giants’ safety Kenny Ladler.
Holmes shook it off and caught another pass from Falk for an 11-yard gain.
The former Cronulla, Queensland and Australian backline speedster then looked like he might get a touchdown when he caught a pass for a five-yard gain just six yards from the end zone.
Holmes finished with three receptions for 30 yards and three carries for six yards.
The Jets’ fourth-year Australian punter Lachlan Edwards was solid with three punts for an average of 52.3 yards and a long of 67.
Edwards is locked in a battle with California-born Matt Darr for the Jets’ punting job this season.
Darr had two punts for an average of 43.5 yards and a long of 53.