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Jets Sign RB George Atkinson III, Waive TE Bucky Hodges

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Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In a minor move in the wake of Elijah McGuire’s foot injury, the New York Jets have signed running back George Atkinson III and waived tight end Bucky Hodges.

Atkinson is a 25 year old, 6’ 1” 220 pound running back out of Notre Dame. Atkinson went undrafted in 2014 and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Raiders. He’s had short stints in training camps and on practice squads with multiple teams, including the Raiders twice, the Cleveland Browns, the Kansas City Chiefs and now the New York Jets.

Atkinson’s only regular season action came in five games as a running back/kick returner with the Raiders in 2014 and in 16 games as a running back/kick returner with the Browns in 2016. For his career Atkinson has returned 15 kicks and averaged 18.1 yards per return, and carried the ball seven times for 34 yards and a touchdown.

Atkinson had some outstanding combine numbers, running a 4.48 40 yard dash and posting a 38” vertical. He also ran a blazing 10.36 second 100 meter dash in college. While his height/weight/speed combination is impressive, his inability to carve out a role in the NFL after four years suggests Atkinson is likely just a camp body.

Atkinson is the son of George Atkinson Jr., who played safety and won a Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders for ten years in the late 1960s and the 1970s.