new york jets la'mical perine
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New York Jets rookie running back La’Mical Perine becomes the team’s first player to test positive for COVID-19 this regular season.

According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Adam Gase has stated that New York Jets running back La’Mical Perine tested positive for COVID-19. He’s the first Jets player to test positive this regular season, and it comes just days prior to the team’s finale against the New England Patriots.

Perine just returned after a four-game stint on injured reserve; he suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Week 11 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. La’Mical carried the ball nine times for a total of 30 yards and caught one pass for 14 yards in the team’s Week 16 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

The rookie running back out of Florida will therefore not be good to go for the team’s Week 17 matchup and concludes his inaugural NFL season having rushed for just 232 yards on 64 carries with a pair of touchdowns. The low production wasn’t all his fault though; Gase failed to utilize him in the most effective and efficient of ways, favoring veteran running back Frank Gore despite his age.

Gore won’t suit up against the Pats either, citing a bruised lung. This means Josh Adams and Ty Johnson, unless they’re high-risk close contacts to Perine, will man the running game for Gang Green as the team closes out its disgraceful 2020 campaign.

With a new head coach most definitely entering the building in 2021, there’s a chance Perine’s future responsibilities expand. He sports versatility in his game but requires the necessary coaching in order to take that next step. The Jets may also look to acquire a running back in the offseason that could effectively complement Perine.

With the Jets locked into the No. 2 overall draft pick and having been out of playoff contention for a while now, the upcoming game out in Foxborough is essentially meaningless. It will certainly be Gase’s final game as New York’s head coach, and it’s a surprise he’s even lasted this long in that role.