La’Mical Perine becomes the first NY Jets player to test positive for COVID-19

NY Jets, La'Mical Perine
NY Jets, La'Mical Perine /

NY Jets’ running back La’Mical Perine is the team’s first player to test positive for COVID-19.

The NY Jets made it through training camp and 16 weeks of the NFL season, but they’ve finally had a player test positive for COVID-19, rookie running back La’Mical Perine.

The team announced that Perine has tested positive on Wednesday and they subsequently placed him on the reserve/COVID-19 list. As a result, he will miss this week’s game against the New England Patriots meaning that his season is over.

The Jets are currently in the process of undergoing further testing to determine any possible close contacts. And while the Jets won’t reveal any specific players they feel could be close contacts, Wednesday’s injury report could offer a glimpse.

The likes of Blessuan Austin, Chuma Edoga, John Franklin-Myers, Bryce Hall, Neville Hewitt, and Marcus Maye were all held out of practice for “non-injury-related” issues indicating that each of them is a potential close contact.

If one or more of those players are forced to miss Sunday’s game, the Jets’ depth will be seriously tested.

The NY Jets will be thin at running back with La’Mical Perine out

As it stands right now, the Jets are already set to be very thin at running back. Perine joins veteran Frank Gore on the sideline after the 37-year-old suffered a bruised lung in the team’s 23-16 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Gore was subsequently placed on injured reserve ending his season, and perhaps his legendary NFL career. This means the Jets have just two running backs on the active roster, Ty Johnson and Josh Adams.

It’s likely they opt to add a third to the active roster before Sunday’s game, probably in the form of practice squad running back Pete Guerriero.

But it will be Johnson and Adams who see the majority of snaps this week for the first time since Week 13 when the former became the Jets’ first 100-yard rusher in two years.

As for Perine, the rookie fourth-round pick will end his season with 232 yards and two touchdowns on 64 carries in 10 games. His 3.6 yards per carry is underwhelming and is just shy of Gore’s 3.5 YPC for the worst mark on the team.

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Johnson and Adams will look to take advantage of a golden opportunity in Week 17 while Perine will hope to bounce back next season after a disappointing rookie campaign.