New York Jets Running Back Bilal Powell Stepping up During Absences

By Nick Mamary
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

This time of year brings many intriguing position battles around the NFL. During training camp teams get an opportunity to assess talent on their roster. For one team there will not be such a chance, at least not right now.

The New York Jets have added a pair of running backs alongside Joe Mcknight and Bilal Powell. Chris Ivory of course was acquired from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for their fourth-round selection in the 2013 Draft. Mike Goodsoon signed during free agency after spending 2012 with the Oakland Raiders. Circumstances have ensured that these acquisitions are missing from camp. Goodson went through massive legal troubles when dealing with an arrest for firearms and drug charges. This player demonstrated some play making ability averaging 4.5 yards per carry for his career. The problem is that Goodson only carried 160 times his first four years. Realistically this running back may never play for New York if a suspension comes. Gang Green may think that parting ways is a solution.

Ivory brings potential from his time with the Saints. During 2010 the rookie rushed for five touchdowns, which is still a career high. Although not scoring a higher number may serve as a red flag, two factors should be comforting. New Orleans utilized a stable of backs including Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram. Ivory only played five games last season but still tallied 5.4 yards per attempt. Quarterback Drew Brees is also so good that his team’s offense was based on passing.  A hamstring injury presents some issues as he will be monitored from day to day. McKnight also enters an uncertain time with an arrest of his own as well as possible concussion issues.

Praise from head coach Rex Ryan offers hope for Powell. I previously stated that he could be in a fight just to make this roster.  Now he could be potentially listed as New York’s regular season starter. His four yards per carry means an ability to create offense. If all three are present, depth chart designation may not be that important because a committee approach could work. John Griffin and Chad Spann will get preseason looks but do not seem significant in competition.

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