Jake Steinberg, theJetsBlog.com
According to the New York Daily News, the Jets will be without Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight this weekend and possibly further.
“Fresh off their most dominant game on the ground this season, the Jets will be without two of their top three running backs. Bilal Powell’s MRI on Monday confirmed a dislocated shoulder. The second-year running back, who had played well as the third-down back and primary backup to Shonn Greene, will miss Sunday’s game against the Patriots, according to a source.
The Jets haven’t ruled out the possibility that Powell could return in Week 8 against the Dolphins, but it may make more sense to hold him out since the team has a Week 9 bye. That would give Powell three weeks to heal.
It’s a similar situation for third-string running back and primary kick returner Joe McKnight, whose MRI revealed a high ankle sprain, according to sources. The Jets haven’t officially ruled him out for the Patriots’ game, but it appears highly unlikely that he will play. The team may decide to rest him for the Dolphins’ game as well and give him three weeks to heal. Antonio Cromartie will be one of the options to return kicks in Foxborough.”
This is a tough blow to a running game that really took off yesterday. Now the Jets will turn to Jonathan Grimes, an UDFA from William & Mary. Grimes was signed off the Texans practice squad on September 25. He led the nation in all-purpose yards last year and runs a 4.53 forty. In the preseason, he rushed for 170 yards & a TD (4.6 YPC).
Curtis Martin said in his HOF Acceptance speech that he never wanted to leave the field because he was afraid of what the person behind him would do. Now, with Bilal and Joe out, Grimes has a chance to shine. If he really impresses, who knows what could transpire…
However, I find it hard to believe that the Jets will go into the game with just Greene and Grimes as their healthy backs. One guy the could turn to, as Bent mentioned earlier today, is John Griffin who had a terrific camp and looked like a lock to make the team before he suffered a high ankle sprain (the same injury that McKnight has now). The Jets let him go because it was taking him a while to recover. However, I can now tell you Griff is 100% healthy and just waiting for an opportunity. [Edit by Weeks:] Lex Hilliard could potentially see some carries alongside Greene as that was his original position before converting to fullback.
Regardless, this is not good news. From all of us here at TJB, we wish Bilal and Joe a speedy recovery and hope to see them back on the field soon!