The Jets could definitely use some help in their backfield right now. Presumed starter Chris Ivory has missed more than a week's worth of practice because of a hamstring strain. Mike Goodson has yet to report to camp, and head coach Rex Ryan won't say why. Joe McKnight was arrested last week and has a possible concussion. But maybe help is on the way in the form of a 5-foot-9, 198-round running back who was undrafted in 2011 and has never played in a regular-season game.
That is Chad Spann. The 25-year-old was signed by the Jets last month and has already left quite an impression on Ryan, who referred to him recently as "that MJD guy." According to the Newark Star-Ledger's Michael Fensom, Spann "cannon-balls through the line of scrimmage."
Besides Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez, we have another player in green to watch during tonight's Jets-Lions game. I don't know if he'll make the final roster; his odds would seem long if Ivory and McKnight both get healthy, and Goodson reports at some point. But those are a lot of "ifs," and it's always fun to root for the little guy. He was very productive at Northern Illinois in 2009 and 2010. Considering his road in the NFL, you know Spann will work hard for every opportunity he gets. And he should get a pretty big opportunity tonight.