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New York Jets' Joe McKnight moved to cornerback

With Darrelle Revis on the shelf for the balance of the 2012 season, the New York Jets have no choice but to take some chances.

Case in point: Rex Ryan announced Wednesday that running back Joe McKnight will have an increased role at cornerback going forward.

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"We'll do that this week with Joe McKnight," Ryan said, via the New York Daily News. "He'll have a role on offense, but we're also teaching him how to play corner. Not quite a full-time capacity, but he's going to be over there a ton in the meetings and everything else."

This is a move that addresses two aspects of the Jets' roster -- adding depth to a devastated secondary and finding a new role for McKnight, who's become a complete afterthought in the team's offensive gameplan.

The Jets' fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft, McKnight has played just seven of a possible 204 offensive snaps. He played defensive back in high school before Pete Carroll moved him to running back at USC.

"He's a guy that we saw on scout team when he was a rookie," Ryan said. "He has the necessary skills to be able to play corner. He's got the speed, the size, the athleticism, the ball skills. Everything you look for in a corner. So, I don't think there's any reason not to think that Joe McKnight couldn't be a corner.

"It's just going to take time, obviously," Ryan added. "But I think with (defensive backs coach) Dennis Thurman and (assistant defensive backs coach) Jimmy O'Neil over there, I think we got great teachers of the game. It'll be interesting. I would not bet against Joe McKnight becoming a good corner."

Desperatation move? Perhaps, but the Jets can't afford to be conservative now.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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