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New York Jets RB La’Mical Perine tests positive for COVID-19

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 27: La'Mical Perine #22 of the New York Jets carries the ball for a first down in the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium on December 27, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

New York Jets rookie running back La’Mical Perine has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive.

It took nearly 17 weeks of regular-season NFL action, but the New York Jets finally have one in the positive column. Rookie running back La’Mical Perine has tested positive for COVID-19.

Head coach Adam Gase made the announcement on his regularly scheduled Wednesday Zoom call with reporters.

“Perine is going to go on COVID-IR,” Gase told the media. “We’re still doing some contact tracing stuff to see if this affects anybody else.”

Perine, 22, has experienced a strange rookie campaign. With Le’Veon Bell in town to begin the season, the Florida product didn’t get many opportunities. Once Bell was was cut, he split time with veteran Frank Gore.

After putting some decent work on tape—which included a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7—Perine missed several games after sustaining a high-ankle sprain in the loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The positive test means his season is now obviously over after recently returning from IR just in time for the victory over the Cleveland Browns.

While the Jets rank dead-last in offense, and near the bottom in defense as well, the one category the organization led the league in was negative COVID-19 tests. The Perine positive represents the team’s first such occurrence. (Players have been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list this season, but none have tested positive for the disease.)

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Now, the team is conducting contract tracing to see if they’ll be without other players this Sunday when they wrap up the season against Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. Frank Gore’s absence (lung contusion) means Gase’s offense will be severely shorthanded at the position.

Expect Ty Johnson to shoulder much of the load this Sunday in Foxborough, MA.

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