The NY Jets had high hopes for Michael Carter when they selected him In the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Carter was known for his explosive runs at North Carolina, and fans were very excited to see him don a green and white uniform.
His first season with the Jets felt like a pipedream. Carter impressed early in his career, rushing for 639 yards and four touchdowns. He even broke a 55-yard run, his longest of the season.
These are great numbers for a rookie running back, and fans were very excited about his future with the team. He had all the potential in the world, and we all thought this was just the beginning. So, what happened?
NY Jets RB Michael Carter needs to bounce back this season
Carter regressed significantly, finishing the season with 402 yards and three touchdowns. He fumbled the ball twice and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. At one point, Carter looked like the clear-cut RB1 for the Jets — now he might not even be on the team's roster in 2024.
Undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight even managed to steal playing time away from Carter, earning the right to call himself RB1 at a point (when Breece Hall was injured).
When the Jets drafted Hall in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Iowa State product quickly came in and won the starting running back spot going forward. When Hall went down, all of that changed. The Jets relied on Carter quite a bit, and he simply fell short of expectations.
Heading into the 2023 season, Carter is still penciled in as the top backup running back. However, this spot could be taken by rookie Israel Abanikanda or Zonovan Knight. There's also the possibility that Dalvin Cook assumes that role if the Jets sign him.
Depending on how Abanikanda fares and what happens with Dalvin Cook, Carter's spot on the roster could be in trouble. One thing we know for sure is that Carter must have a bounce-back year this season, or come 2024, he might be looking for a new home.