Jets add former rugby player to active roster

The SportsXchange

Hayden Smith is on the verge of completing the transition from rugby to pro football.

The New York Jets promoted the 27-year-old Australian tight end from their practice squad to the active roster Saturday in advance of a home game against the Miami Dolphins. Smith, who is 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, had never played football before he signed with the Jets in April.

Smith, who attended Metro State College in Denver, played four years as a rugby pro in England before making the transition to football.

He figures to serve as insurance for Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland, who might not be able to play Sunday after dislocating his right wrist in the first quarter of last week's game against the New England Patriots.

The Jets cleared a spot for Smith on the roster by releasing receiver Jason Hill. In three games with New York this season, Hill had two receptions for 15 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown grab Oct. 14 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Hill, 27, spent four years with the San Francisco 49ers and two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars before joining the Jets on Oct. 3.
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