- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Running back Mike Goodson stepped onto a practice field for the first time in months as the active member of an NFL team. His four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy has ended, and he will be able to play on Monday night when the New York Jets head to Atlanta.
“Words can’t even express how excited I am,” Goodson said. “Just to be able to be out there, we just had a walk-through to be back out there with my teammates, even just watching them go through a walk-through, being able to be out there is cool.”
Goodson, who was acquired in the offseason, was arrested in New Jersey soon after becoming a Jet. He was found stopped on the highway in a car that contained a gun and marijuana.
Goodson was absent through training camp for what the Jets would only describe as a personal matter. Goodson and Chris Ivory, who missed last Sunday’s loss in Tennessee with an injured hamstring, were big-ticket acquisitions, and Goodson hopes he can provide something for the Jets’ offense.
“Just a spark, hopefully a spark,” the six-foot, 210-pound Goodson said. “Wherever they choose to place me.”
“I just come in and work hard every day and try to let my abilities on the field speak for itself,” Powell said. “It’s good that the coaches notice my hard wok during the offseason and training camp, and give me the opportunities to get the carries.”
The fact is, the Jets' running game is the most reliable part of the offense, and Powell has been a steady and durable presence as the two shiny new running backs have been on the shelf.
With a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith who has eight interceptions in the first four games, some pundits have suggested the Jets would be better off letting the run game absorb more of the offensive pressure.
Having Goodson as a second healthy back might be a way to reduce the wear and tear on Powell.
“We look forward to seeing what he can do,” Powell said.
Goodson said he has been working out regularly at the facility and has spent the past four games focused on football and the playbook. He said he expects to be ready Monday, although he isn’t sure what the coaching staff has planned for him.
“I feel good,” Goodson said. “I’m healthy strong, fast, and ready to play.”