There were some high expectations for Jets running back Michael Carter entering this season.
Carter showed a lot of promise as a rookie in 2021 and figured to be a big part of the offense this season. But things have not gone as planned. Carter has 111 rushes for 398 yards and three touchdowns, all a drop off from his 147-carry, 639-yard, four-touchdown rookie season.
“I feel like I did some stuff well,” Carter said this week before Sunday’s finale against the Dolphins. “I feel like I could have done a lot more, but opportunities are something in this game, of course they’re earned, but sometimes it’s not.”
Carter said he was not complaining about a lack of touches. He led the team with 150 touches this season. He sounded more upset that he was mostly a third-down back this season and was not given the chance to do some different things.
The Jets had Breece Hall rolling early then traded for James Robinson before playing Zonovan Knight then Ty Johnson late. It felt like all season the Jets did not trust Carter to be the lead back.
Some of that clearly bothered Carter, something he said he has to learn from.
“I feel like I had a really good offseason,” Carter said. “The preparation has to meet opportunity. I feel like I was prepared. I feel like I came in in really good shape during OTAs and minicamp. I feel like I had one of the best camps. I just feel like it’s a long season and things happen. There are things that are out of my control. I feel like I do my best to control what I can and try not to let the external factors get to me.
“I think I kind of let stuff like that get to me.”
Carter said this season was a learning experience and he is excited about applying those lessons going forward.
“Sometimes you have to get knocked down to know if you’re going to get up,” Carter said. “I feel like that’s what this season has been about, showing myself who I am and proving to myself that I know I am who I say I am regardless of what goes on around me.”
Coach Robert Saleh said this week that sometimes a player’s second season is a challenge, and he expects Carter to rebound.
“He’s still someone that I think is going to have a really good bounce back in terms of, he still has a chance this week, but he is not done writing his story,” Saleh said. “He’s not the first nor the last second-year player to kind of get sidetracked or not have the year he wanted to have.
“But he’s got all the capability in the world, he’s got the speed, the body contact balance, breaks tackles, has great vision, he’s very smart, he’s got all of those tools and I think just another offseason for him, but again, that goes back to development and why I always say it takes three years because for some reason league-wide that second year, there’s always kind of a hiccup for one reason or another, but he’s one of those kids where you just feel confident that in year three he’s going to, he’ll bust loose.”
The Jets signed safety Will Parks, DE Bradlee Anae, OL Eric Smith, OL Adam Pankey and WR Irvin Charles to the active roster. They placed the following players on IR: S Lamarcus Joyner, CB Brandin Echols, OT Duane Brown, OT George Fant and G Nate Herbig.