Valentine Holmes finally gets a chance to return kicks
Former Cronulla Sharks star Valentine Holmes took his first snaps as a returner in what was effectively a cameo appearance during the New York Jets’ latest pre-season match against the New Orleans Saints.
Holmes, who with his rugby league background seems like an obvious candidate to return punts and kicks, hadn’t been used in the role in either of the Jets previous two games ahead of the regular season, having only been given a chance as a wide reciever and running back.
The 24-year-old didn’t quite shine, but hinted at his skill with a 12-yard punt return on his first crack in the final quarter of the game.
Unfortunately, it was then taken away following a penalty for holding by a teammate.
His second attempt at a return, this time from a kick, was slightly more successful with Holmes running for 21 yards before he was brought down – the best return for the Jets in their 15-point defeat.
In what isn’t a great sign for Holmes’ hopes of making the 53-man roster, Holmes didn’t take a snap as a receiver or running back, and was kept two just the two returns.
Yet Holmes is all but a certainty to be offered a spot on New York’s practise squad, as a member of the NFL International Pathway program.
The Jets will play their final pre-season match this Friday against the Philadelphia Eagles.