Jets rookie running back La'Mical Perine may be back off the injured reserve, but he's not quite ready to suit up this weekend.
Prior to Thursday's practice—Perine's second day of workouts since returning from his high-ankle sprain—head coach Adam Gase revealed that Perine will sit on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.
"[On Wednesday] he did strength and conditioning and all that stuff just like that one final check the box that we had to do," Gase explained. "We should get them out there today and start practicing, but I think we want him to go through a full week of actual like game plan preparation, so hopefully we get them for the last two games."
Perine hasn't played since sustaining an ankle injury in New York's loss to the Chargers in Week 11. He and kicker Sam Ficken were placed on the IR on Nov. 24. Ficken is also back at practice and there's a "good chance" he'll be ready to go on Sunday.
Through nine games, the 22-year-old has rushed for 202 yards on 55 carries. He has two touchdowns on the ground this season to go along with 10 catches for 49 yards out of the backfield.
In Perine's absence, veteran Frank Gore has still been New York's leading rusher. Ty Johnson and Josh Adams have adjusted into bigger roles recently as well, excelling against the Raiders (part of the Jets' 206-yard rushing performance) after Gore left early in the first quarter with a concussion.
Even after the outburst on the ground from Johnson and Adams the previous week, Gore returned to the starting role on Sunday against the Seahawks. New York managed just 69 rushing yards in a 40-3 loss.
This week, Gase stood by the 37-year-old, alluding to the fact that Gore's role will stay the same for the rest of the year. Seems like the only factor that could alter New York's rushing scheme before the conclusion of this season is Perine's return.
"We’ll play the guys whenever they’re available," Gase said on Johnson and Adams. "When Perine comes back, we might change the way that we’re doing things, but as for right now, we’re trying to give all those guys touches, that’s the decision that we’ve decided to make."
On Sunday, New York will face the NFL's top defense, a unit that leads the league by allowing only 285.8 yards per game. The Rams are third in the NFL in rush defense, allowing 94.2 yards per contest.