Frank Gore has been in this spot before, and he would understand if Adam Gase told him that the Jets would be riding with the young backs the rest of the way.
"I know the situation that we’re in and I understand if they do go that route," Gore said. "They got to get the young guys to play. Whenever my number gets called, I’m just going to try and take advantage of it. That’s all I can do."
The Jets are 0-13 and in full evaluation mode. They have been for a long time. But the 37-year-old Gore remains a featured back.
Earlier this week, Gase said at this point the plan is to utilize whoever is healthy in the backfield. For Sunday’s game against the Rams, the plan is for Gore, Ty Johnson and Josh Adams to get touches. Gase said the distribution depends on the game flow.
Gore’s role may change when rookie La’Mical Perine is able to play. Perine has been designated to return from injured reserve, but Gase said he likely won’t play Sunday against the Rams.
Gase wants Perine to go through a full week of practice after missing three games with a high ankle sprain. Perine only did some strength and conditioning on Wednesday. He went through practice for the first time on Thursday.
Gore, a respected leader and consummate professional, was brought in to back up Le’Veon Bell. But after Bell was waived, Gore served as lead back most games. He was the Bills' lead back early last season before Buffalo decided to develop rookie Devin Singletary and started featuring him the latter half of the year.
"I understand," Gore said. "I come to work just like them guys, and I come and practice hard. Whoever they want in that’s who gets in. I’m OK, man. I’ve been playing this game at a high level for a long time, I’ve been playing the right way and I’ve also been a great teammate my whole career. I understand."
Gore, the NFL’s third-leading rusher of all-time, said he has not "thought about" whether he will play a 17th season.
Fatukasi won't play
Starting defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and is out for Sunday’s game. Fatukasi is a close contact of someone who tested positive for coronavirus.
Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins may require surgery to repair his shoulder, Gase said. Jenkins was placed on IR on Wednesday, ending his season and possibly his Jets’ career. He has an expiring contract.
Gase said Jenkins was "fighting" to play through the injury, but "I don’t know how much he’d be able to do playing with one arm." Gase praised Jenkins for putting the team first all the time.