Jets running back Israel Abanikanda runs the ball during an NFL...

Jets running back Israel Abanikanda runs the ball during an NFL preseason game against the Buccaneers on Aug. 19 in East Rutherford, N.J.  Credit: AP/Perry Knotts

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Rookie running back Izzy  Abanikanda will be active for the first time and make his NFL debut on Sunday as the Jets have begun making personnel changes to their failing offense.

The Jets released third-year running back and former starter Michael Carter on Tuesday, clearing the way for Abanikanda to get his opportunity. They could have done it without cutting Carter, but Robert Saleh said the Jets wanted to give Carter a chance to play somewhere else.

He may get that opportunity with the Arizona Cardinals, who claimed Carter off waivers on Wednesday.

“Just wanted to give Izzy an opportunity, he’s a good young back,” Saleh said before Wednesday’s walk-through. “We felt like it wouldn’t be fair for Michael to just sit there and rot on the bench and ask him to be a great teammate and all that. He’s been so good for us. We felt like [he should] get an opportunity to go play for a team that would allow him to tote the rock and kind of be the featured back that we all think he could be.

“Releasing him was more about allowing him the opportunity to go get one rather than just be selfish and have him be on our bench.”

This won’t solve all the Jets’ problems on offense. Saleh said there will be more changes.

“There are,” he said. “I’m not going to get into it now, but there are.”

The Jets (4-5) haven’t scored a touchdown in more than 11 quarters and have dropped two straight games. In Sunday’s loss to Las Vegas, the Jets had a touchdown and three first downs — two that would have put them in the red zone — wiped out by penalties.

Tight end C.J. Uzomah committed two of the penalties, including a hold that erased a touchdown. He also dropped what would have been a touchdown pass in the Jets’ Week 9 loss to the Chargers.

Uzomah could see his snaps reduced with more being given to Lindenhurst product Jeremy Ruckert as part of another personnel move when the Jets play in Buffalo on Sunday.

“We’ve got three really good tight ends,” Saleh said. “Jeremy’s been playing very well. He deserves to play a little bit more. [Tyler] Conklin’s been having a really nice season. He’s been doing a great job. When you look at the play balance of it all you’re talking about 5-10 swung in either direction with regards to Ruckert and Conklin.

“Yeah, Ruckert deserves to get some more action and it’s something that we’ll look at.”

Last week Conklin played 42 of 66 offensive snaps, Uzomah played 23 and Ruckert 15.

The Jets have to do something to shake up and wake up this offense, which has produced only eight touchdowns this season.

Carter being released was not a popular move in the locker room. Left tackle Mekhi Becton said he was “down in the dumps” on Tuesday. Abanikanda said “it’s a blessing” that he’s going to get his opportunity, but he was “deeply saddened” about Carter.

“Since Day 1, since I walked in here, MC showed nothing but love,” Abanikanda said. “He grew to be my brother for real. I’m definitely going to miss him for sure. I texted him after yesterday [saying] how much of an influence he was on me.”

Carter was the Jets’ third running back, behind Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook, and used mostly in third-down passing situations. Saleh said the speedy Abanikanda, who graduated from Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, would see action on special teams as well as “supplement” the run game.

Using Abanikanda, a fifth-round pick from Pittsburgh, in the return game could be another personnel change. Xavier Gipson had just 20 combined punt and kick return yards against the Raiders. Gipson made a bad decision running a kickoff out of the end zone and was tackled at the 13 instead of letting the offense have the ball at the 25.

“We know Izzy’s speed. {He's a] big, strong powerful back,” Saleh said. “We’ll see what he is. We’re about to find out for sure. He’s going to provide more for special teams, I can give you guys that much, and then being able to supplement some of the touches. Fresh legs is a real thing and he’s already got speed. It’ll be fun to get him loose a little bit.”

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