ACL injuries are very hard to come back from – especially when you are a top young player on a growing team. That’s the reality Breece Hall is currently dealing with as he prepares for his second NFL season with the New York Jets.
Before sustaining his injury at the halfway point of last season, Hall was seen as a favorite for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He was averaging 5.8 yards a carry and just under seven yards a touch before his injury in Denver. His top speed and playmaking ability made him a threat against any defense facing New York last season.
But what does his post-injury career look like? Can the Jets get the same type of burst from the former second-round pick that he had during his rookie season?
In the end, projecting Hall’s 2023 season is difficult because of several factors. Most ACL injuries take two years for an athlete to get back to pre-injury days according to a study by the Mayo Sports Medicine Research Center in 2017. If that’s the case, Hall is going to be entering the first full year by mid-October.
New York could also bring in another veteran running back to allow the Iowa St. product to not deal with the pressures of a feature back while giving him enough carries to get him back up to speed. There are many ways Gang Green can handle their young playmaker.
There is good news for Hall and the Jets though. While ACL injuries have predominately taken over a year to get to 100%, modern medicine and the way the team is handling him at such a young age shows that Hall could be an exception to the overall rule.
New York’s offensive line is also expected to be much better with Mekhi Becton, Duane Brown, and Alijah Vera-Tucker all healthy along with Joe Tippmann recently selected in the second round. Add in the presence that a Hall-of-Fame quarterback like Aaron Rodgers can bring, and the skill set that Hall brings could be the kind of piece the Jets use early and often in 2023.
Similar to how the Packers used Aaron Jones over the last few seasons, Hall’s ability as a pass catcher and big-play star will make him a huge piece to the Jets’ season and could propel them into the playoffs.
Regular season projection: Over 1,000 yards of total offense, five yards a touch, 10 total touchdowns