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Jets Need Ivory Now

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Michael Boley of the New York Giants tackles Chris Ivory of the New Orleans Saints during their game at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, N.J. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images.
Michael Boley of the New York Giants tackles Chris Ivory of the New Orleans Saints during their game at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, N.J. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images.

New York Jets running back Chris Ivory has not practiced in public since July 31. The Jets need Ivory to recover from the hamstring injury and be healthy for the upcoming season.

The Jets thought highly enough of Ivory to trade a fourth round draft pick in April’s draft to the New Orleans Saints for him. Ivory was supposed to come in and be the Jets number one running back.

However, Ivory’s hamstring injury has made it tough for him to participate in training camp.

“You get frustrated a little bit because you want to see Big Chris (Ivory) get it going,” said Rex Ryan, Jets head coach, speaking to Michael J. Fensom of The Star-Ledger. “When the trainers clear him he’ll be ready to roll. He’s champing at the bit to get out there. He’s working extremely hard. You sometimes think hamstring injuries mean a guy is out of shape. This guy has three-percent body fat. You can’t work him hard enough in the weight room. It’s an unfortunate thing he’s had.”

The Jets made an interesting move on July 30 by listing Bilal Powell as the team’s number one running back in their initial training camp depth chart, according to Manish Mehta, Jets reporter for the New York Daily News. This move should not concern Jets fans that Powell is somehow better than Ivory.

Powell is not in the same league as Ivory.

Ivory is an explosive running back who can truck defenders and out-run opposing defenders. Powell is similar to the Jets number one running back this past season, Shonn Greene, because he has average speed and he likes to truck defenders.

Ivory averages more rushing yards per game than Powell has, thus far in his career.

Last season, Powell averaged four rushing yards per carry. That is nothing in comparison to Ivory.

Ivory did not average less than four and a half rushing yards per carry in his three seasons with the Saints. The Jets are not the only team to list a person that experts view as backup running back material as their number one running back.

The Green Bay Packers listed Dejuan Harris as their number running back in their initial training camp depth chart, according to Mehta. Harris has virtually no chance of winning the starting job because of the two explosive running backs they drafted in April.

Alabama’s Eddie Lacy and UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin were both very successful running backs for their respectable universities. The winner of this hyped battle should thrive when they play with one of the best quarterbacks in the game, Aaron Rodgers.

The hamstring does not sound serious when Ryan or the media discusses it. However, Ivory’s injury plagued history makes it a huge concern.

Ivory has only played in 24 games in his three-year career with the Saints, which average out to playing in only half of the regular season games. This means that he is a walking injury risk.

Running back is one of the most well-known positions in the NFL to suffer injuries on a yearly basis. This includes top players like Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, Houston Texans’ Arian Foster, and Kansas City Chiefs’ Jamal Charles.

With Powell as the alternative to Ivory, the Jets really need Ivory to be healthy for the upcoming season. Without Ivory, the Jets do not have a chance to win six games this upcoming season.