Ethan GreenbergNYJets.com Contributor
One bright spot in the Jets’ second preseason game was the return of running back Bilal Powell.
Powell didn’t suit up against the Titans and a sat out roughly one week of practice with a neck injury suffered in practice. The Jets turned to the seven-year vet early and often as he had two carries on the first two plays of the team’s first drive.
“It was something we needed to get going,” Powell said. “We needed to get the run game going a little early. Whenever my number is called I look forward to doing what I have to do for the team.”
The Green & White tried to establish a run game against the Lions after they averaged 1.8 yards on the ground against the Titans. The 5’10”, 204-pounder totaled 32 yards on nine carries and hauled in a pair of catches for 14 yards. Jets fans held their breath on one of the catches as Powell was sandwiched with both a high and low hit. Fortunately, he popped up unscathed.
“Yeah, it was a tough shot,” Powell said. “It’s just football. It was one of those things when I get to the sideline I need to protect myself a little more when you have guys swiping at the legs. I just have to protect myself and get out of bounds.”
The Louisville product could be one of the staples in John Morton’s West Coast offense as a dual threat out of the backfield. Powell totaled 1,110 yards and five touchdowns in 2016 as he was debatably the Jets’ best offensive player down the stretch.
“I like it,” he said of Morton’s system. “It’s coming along. As you look around, guys are buying into it. Hopefully this week [against the Giants] we’ll get the starters and the older guys to play a little more and get into a rhythm.”