New York Jets' running back and kickoff returner Joe McKnight was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October, the NFL announced Thursday.
McKnight returned 11 kickoffs for 443 yards during the month, including a 107-yard kick return in a Week 4 loss against Baltimore, the longest play in Jets history. His 40.3-yard kickoff return average for the month topped the NFL, as does his 40-yard average for the season.
Against Miami in Week 6, McKnight totaled 198 kickoff return yards, including an 88-yard kickoff return. He becomes just the fourth Jet to win Special Teams Player of the Month honors, joining returner Justin Miller (Oct., 2006), kick returner Brad Smith (Dec., 2010) and punter Tom Tupa (Nov., 1999).
Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters he expects McKnight to play a bigger role Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
"Absolutely he'll get more opportunities this week," Ryan said.
"I think he's earned it and he's done a great job even as a receiver," Ryan added. "(Buffalo) is using (C.J.) Spiller a lot as a receiver too. You get an explosive athlete and you look for ways to use him and I can see us using him a little more this week."