The New York Jets lost more than just the game when they played the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Running back Mike Goodson, playing in just his second game since returning from suspension, tore both his ACL and MCL and is out for the season. Goodson’s injury is a big blow to an offense that needs playmakers, and the Jets are going to miss him badly.
Goodson has game changing speed and explosiveness, and he brought a big play element to the backfield that simply doesn’t exist with Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory. In his two games Goodson only received 7 carries and 2 catches, but he racked up 80 yards on those touches. He was still learning the offense and working his way into game shape, and the Jets were planning on increasing his role.
Without Goodson, the Jets will no longer have an explosive player in their backfield. Powell has been a revelation this season, but he is still a between the tackles, grind it out type of runner. Ivory is a pure power back, and reserve Alex Green has yet to make much of an impact. The Jets have won this year when they have been able to take the pressure off Geno Smith with a strong run game and surround him with playmakers, and that task will be more difficult without Goodson.
The Jets could look to Jeremy Kerley to make up for some of Goodson’s production, especially in the form of the Wildcat and screen passes. They need to do something to create a big play threat out of the backfield, or they will not be a complete offense.
Goodson was the Jets’ premier free agent signing this offseason, and they surely envisioned getting more than two games and nine touches out of him when they signed him. Unfortunately, suspension and injury cut his first season in New York short. The Jets are hoping that he will be able to rehab and return next season as the same explosive player, and if that is the case he will have a much larger role in the offense than he did this year.