It could be Perine time for the Jets.
Rookie running back La’Mical Perine should be more involved in the game plan on Sunday against the Colts. Adam Gase relied heavily on 37-year-old Frank Gore last week against San Francisco, probably too much, with Le’Veon Bell (hamstring) on IR. The Jets could use some fresh, young legs to give Gore a rest and keep him strong.
"We’re hoping to really spread the workload out a little more to where we can make sure we do a good job of getting Frank though the entire game instead of really burning him out in the first half," Gase said. "I feel good about the rotation we’re talking about going through."
Gase said the plan was not to overuse Gore last Sunday, but Perine —who practiced fully on Thursday for the first time since injuring his ankle Aug. 30 — was just coming back from an ankle injury and Kalen Ballage had been slowed by a hamstring issue. It became all Gore all the time.
He ran the ball 21 times for 63 yards, including15 carries in the first half. Josh Adams carried the ball once before halftime.
Gore wore down at times. He motioned to the sideline that he needed a break during one series. Then later, Gore carried the ball six times in 10 plays on a drive that stalled at the 49ers’ 20-yard line. Gore was stuffed on third-and-1. Gase decided to give Gore a rest and put in Adams, who was stopped on 4th-and-1.
"We were thinking going two series with Frank and then get those other guys involved in that third series," Gase said. "Frank made a good suggestion. He said let me go one more. We had a pretty good drive going. We didn’t get it done there at the end."
Perine impressed during training camp before injuring his ankle during a late-August scrimmage at MetLife Stadium. The fourth-round pick out of Florida had some explosive runs, which is something the Jets could use. It did come against the Jets’ defense though. Perine rushed three times for 17 yards last week.
"I feel like we got a good thought process heading into this game," Gase said. "If we can keep everybody available for the whole game that’s really what we want."