Running back Mike Goodson was allowed to take the practice field for the first time in months after his four-game suspension ended after Sunday’s matchup with the Tennessee Titans. Goodson was forced to serve the suspension after violating the NFL substance abuse policy but is now permitted to play Monday night against Atlanta.
“Words can’t even express how excited I am. Just being able to be back out there,” said Goodson. “We just had a walk thru, to be back out there with my teammates and even just watching them go through a walk thru. Being able to be out there is cool.”
Goodson, 26, is returning at the perfect time for a Jets team that is sorely in need of depth at the running back position with Chris Ivory nursing a hamstring injury. In his place Bilal Powell has wasted no time in strengthening his stranglehold over the starter’s job. He has surpassed over 100 total yards in the past two games and rushed for over 140 yards against the Buffalo Bills in week three.
Even with the emergence of Powell the Jets have had very little faith in Powell’s backup, Alex Green. Green had only two rushes in Sunday’s game against the Titans and accumulated only two yards. Goodson’s presence will do wonders in improving the state of the offense with his burst of quickness.
“We’ve played hard,” stated Goodson. “We just finished the first quarter (of the season). We’re 2-2. I think we’re in a good spot, probably not where we want to be,” said Goodson. “We always want to win. We’re in a good spot and we’re just going to work real hard to get this second (quarter) rolling.”
The Jets are averaging 3.9 yards per carry this season, but have had games in which they’ve gone away from the running game, handing over too much responsibility to quarterback Geno Smith. That line of thinking may dissipate with the presence of both Goodson and Powell, but only if Goodson is prepared for the rigors of NFL football.
“I think the stuff that I was doing was pretty applicable, I would say,” noted Goodson. “It’s nothing like football, though. To be out there running and doing stuff like that, it’s nothing like being in football shape,” said Goodson. “Going through a week of practice, I think I’ll be ready.”
Goodson has averaged 4.5 yards a carry during his NFL career and is a useful pass catcher out of the backfield, a strength that is needed with a rookie quarterback. His abilities may be a perfect complement to Powell’s running style and give the offense just what it is looking for.
“Just a spark,” noted Goodson. “Hopefully a spark. Wherever they choose to place me, wherever they choose to put me at, just bring a spark.”