Mike Goodson is back with the Jets but it is a tease for the team as he can’t contribute anytime soon.
Goodson, who was uspended on Monday night by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, practiced on Tuesday but won’t be eligible to return to the playing field until after the Jets’ Week 4 game against the Titans. Goodson was arrested early in the morning on May 17 in northern New Jersey on drug and weapons charges. He was a passenger in a vehicle that was found parked in the middle of Route 80 and marijuana and a handgun were found by police inside the vehicle. Just two months earlier, Goodson had signed a multi-year contract with the team.
He missed all of training camp to attend to a personal matter, presumably connected to his arrest. On Tuesday, he would not specify as to the reason for his absence but he says he returns a different man than the one who was arrested three months ago.
“I just have my life in order,” Goodson said. “I was able to get my life in order and able to look at some things that I wasn’t happy with myself.”
Goodson can add another dimension to a backfield severely lacking in tried and true options if he is healthy. After losing Shonn Greene to the Titans this offseason, the Jets signed Goodson and traded for Chris Ivory from the Saints. The moves brought in backfield talent to complement Bilal Powell, who the second running back on the depth chart last year. Ivory and Powell combined have just 10 starts in six NFL seasons.
Ivory told Metro that the addition of Goodson is “always a positive when you have a lot of good backs.”
“It is definitely a benefit. If a man goes down, the next man goes up,” Ivory said. “Not sure how we’re going to be used but all of us can be used differently and be a positive for the running game.”
Head coach Rex Ryan said on Tuesday that Goodson will clearly have some work to do to get ready for a game, but with the news of his suspension, he at least has the benefit of five weeks where he can get in shape. Once the suspension starts next week, Goodson will be able to use the team facility and attend team meetings but he won’t be allowed to practice or play with the team.
The learning curve won’t just be a physical one for a player who admittedly has been away from football for the past month, but will be a mental challenge in terms of grasping the playbook. At least at his previous stop in Oakland, Goodson will benefit from a scheme similar to the Jets’ West Coast offense, which should aid his assimilation.
“I was at minicamp and I ran this offense and this style of offense in Oakland last year so I kind of know the scheme of things,” Goodson said. “It won’t be that hard for me to pick it up.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.