Jets running back La'Mical Perine rushes during NFL football practice...

Jets running back La'Mical Perine rushes during NFL football practice Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Florham Park, N.J.  Credit: AP/Adam Hunger

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – La’Mical Perine hasn’t been able to carve out a role for himself in the Jets’ crowded backfield, but it hasn’t shaken his confidence.

Perine didn’t express any frustration over playing just 24 offensive snaps all season. The second-year running back, who showed flashes as a rookie, said he can’t dwell on it. He has to keep working to make sure he’s ready when his opportunity comes.

"I can do anything," Perine said. "I’m balanced. I can catch the ball. I can run the ball hard. I’m a three-down back. In this system I’m used more as a power back. I understand that. I was drafted to be a three-down back and I can do everything I feel like. Whenever they want to call my number, I just got to be prepared for it."

It came last week against the Saints. It took the Jets to be without three running backs - Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman and Austin Walter – for Perine to be involved in the offense. He had seven carries for 28 yards. He’s had eight carries all season.

This Sunday against the Dolphins, the Jets will have Carter and Coleman back and maybe Walter, who was a late scratch on Sunday because of a non-COVID illness. Perine could be inactive for the 10th time this season.

"I’m not doing nothing wrong," he said. "Just a numbers game. We got a lot of good talented backs and I understand that. When they’re down I got to pick up the slack for those guys. I can’t sit back and just wonder why I can’t get the opportunity all year. I’m not going to do that. Just keep working."

A fourth-round pick from Florida, Perine rushed 64 times for 232 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie, playing behind Le’Veon Bell, Frank Gore and Ty Johnson. That was a different coaching staff.

When the Jets played without Carter in Houston three weeks ago, it appeared Perine would be in line for some work behind Coleman and Ty Johnson. But the Jets surprisingly elevated Walter from the practice squad and Perine was inactive. Walter ended up scoring his first touchdown.

Perine said he understood the Jets’ decision. He said Walter knows the system better from being with San Francisco. He’s just tried to show this coaching staff that he’s a hard worker and willing to do whatever is asked of him, and that won’t change.

"I feel like I got drafted for a reason," he said. "I’m a talented guy. A lot of people might not think that, but they don’t see what I do day in and day out. I can’t speak for them. I know what I bring to the table, each day when I step on that field. I’m a dog at heart. That’s just me."

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