Tight end Hayden Smith, a former rugby star who never played organized football until signing with the Jets last spring, was signed to the 53-man roster on Saturday -- a strong indication he will be active on Sunday when the Jets face the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium.
To make room for Smith, the Jets released wide receiver Jason Hill.
That the Jets signed Smith from the practice squad was a surprising move, but they wanted an extra body at tight end because Jeff Cumberland (dislocated wrist) isn't ready to play. The Jets worked out two free agents earlier in the week, Joey Haynos and Colin Cochart.
Smith, 27, a native of Australia, decided to try football after a successful rugby career in England. Minicamp was the first time in his life he wore a football helmet. Smith (6-foot-6, 255 pounds) struggled in training camp, but he showed enough developmental promise to justify a spot on the practice squad.
Assuming he dresses for the game, Smith will be the third tight end. Wideout Clyde Gates, back from a shoulder injury, will dress as the No. 4 receiver. His recovery made Hill expendable.