Running back Breece Hall was having an encouraging rookie season for the New York Jets before tearing his ACL in the team’s Week 7 road matchup against the Denver Broncos. Could Hall be nearing his return?
Jets coach Robert Saleh said Wednesday that Hall is trending in the right direction and running well.
“I’m very optimistic on that one,” Saleh told the New York press corps. “I don’t want to jinx it [knocks on wood]. I mean, the kid’s already hitting over 22 [mph] on the GPS, so he looks frickin’ good.”
New York traded up to select Hall with the No. 36 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Iowa State, making him the first running back selected in his class. Hall totaled 463 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry. He also hauled in 19 receptions for 218 yards and one touchdown.
The week prior to tearing his ACL, Hall logged a 100-yard game on the ground against the Green Bay Packers, while reaching the end zone in each of his last four games. In Hall’s absence, the Jets primarily relied on fellow rookie Zonovan Knight and second-year back Michael Carter in the run game.
Saleh can’t wait for Hall’s return.
“He looks good,” Saleh said. “Again, he’s one of those kids that we’ve had to kind of hold back. It’s weird to say it, [but] you don’t want to heal too fast on an ACL. You’ve got to be able to balance it out with strength. He looks strong. He looks powerful. He’s learning. I’m excited for him to get back on the field. I feel like he won’t need to be limited during training camp, even though we still will just want to be conscientious and cautious with him, but he looks awesome.”
Hall will return to a new-look Jets offense, as the team acquired future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Packers, while also adding wide receivers Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman and Randall Cobb. Meanwhile, former Broncos head coach and Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was with Rodgers in Green Bay from 2019 to 2021, is the Jets’ new offensive coordinator after they parted ways with Mike LaFleur.
The Jets are coming off a 7-10 season, losing their final six games and eight of their last 10.