The New York Jets have released their third-string running back, Michael Carter, after an uneventful start to his third season. Carter didn’t get much playing time, representing only 25% of snaps and serving as the third-down back. Carter had 38 rushing yards on eight carries and 15 receptions for 68 yards. Carter got benched in Week 10 after an illegal chop-block penalty.
Rookie Israel Abanikanda will serve as the Jets’ third-string back moving forward.
The New York Jets rookie played college ball at Pittsburgh.
Israel Abanikanda committed to play college football for the Pittsburgh Panthers as a three-star recruit for the 2020 season. Abanikanda served as the number three back during his freshman season, recording 95 rushing yards on 28 carries and one rushing touchdown. He also had two receptions for 11 yards and one receiving touchdown in seven games.
Abanikanda took over as the starting back and handled kick return duties in his sophomore season. He had 651 rushing yards on 123 carries and seven rushing touchdowns, 24 receptions for 197 yards and one receiving touchdown. He also had seven kick returns for 206 yards and one touchdown.
Abanikanda had a great last season with Pittsburgh. He had 1,431 rushing yards on 239 carries and 20 rushing touchdowns, 12 receptions for 146 yards and one receiving touchdown. He also had 12 kick returns for 228 yards.
He had nine 100-yard rushing games, the most by a Pittsburgh player since Dion Lewis in 2009. He had 320 yards on 36 carries and six rushing touchdowns against Virginia Tech, breaking Tony Dorsett’s school record for most rushing yards in one game with 303 yards vs. Notre Dame on November 15, 1975.
He was second in the ACC Player of the Year vote. Abanikanda declared for the 2023 draft.
Abanikanda’s path to the draft.
The New York Jets drafted Israel Abanikanda in the fifth round, 143rd overall in the 2023 draft.
Abanikanda’s rookie season.
Abanikanda entered training camp as the fourth-string running back behind Breece Hall, Dalvin Cook, and Michael Carter. He suffered a thigh contusion against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during preseason.
Abanikanda made the 53-man roster as the fourth running back on the roster, beating out Zonovan Knight and Troy Dye.
Abanikanda was a healthy scratch for the first nine weeks of the season.
Expect Israel Abanikanda to take over as the third-string running back. Expect him to have a minimal role moving forward. Breece Hall likely takes over as the third-down back, and Dalvin Cook gets more snaps with the release of Michael Carter.
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