Jets in Transition: How Dalvin Cook's Integration Shakes Up the Running Back Mix


Aug 31, 2023

The New York Jets have ushered in a new era, and Dalvin Cook is front and center in this transition. As the NFL season gets underway, the Jets are placing significant bets on Cook’s capability to make a splash. Having cut ties with Zonovan Knight, the team’s confidence in their current running back lineup is evident. Alongside Cook, we can expect Breece Hall to join the fray either immediately or in the very near future. But let’s not sideline Michael Carter – he remains a crucial figure in the mix.

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So, what does Cook’s return signify for the Jets? The Jets likely intend for Cook and Hall to share carries initially. But, as the season unfolds, Hall should emerge as the standout running back. Not to diminish Cook’s prowess, but the wear and tear on his tires can’t be ignored. It’s the inescapable reality of the position. Reducing his carries as the season progresses will ideally keep him in prime shape for a potential playoff run.

On the flip side, Hall’s past knee injury necessitates caution. Easing him into the game ensures his optimal performance by season’s end. This strategic approach could translate to Cook shouldering more responsibilities early on, only for Hall to take the reins later.

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Furthermore, given Cook’s recent integration into the team and his ongoing recovery from shoulder surgery, there’s a possibility of a three-pronged approach, with Carter also in the limelight. For fantasy football enthusiasts, this can be maddening. The frequent switch might raise eyebrows and result in outbursts of “Why is Carter getting those touches?”

But patience is the name of the game here. As Cook finds his footing within the team’s dynamics, he could secure a stable spot as a flex option in fantasy leagues. Meanwhile, keep an eye on Hall. He’s poised to ascend the running back rankings as the season progresses.

The Jets have carved out an intriguing path with their running back strategy. The initial phases might be tumultuous for fans and fantasy owners, but there’s a clear vision here. Only time will tell how this triad – Cook, Hall, and Carter – will revolutionize the Jets’ ground game.

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Thumbnail photo via Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

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