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Jets RB Breece Hall 'still that dude' in return from ACL injury vs. Bills

All eyes are on Aaron Rodgers this Tuesday morning, but there is some less grim news Jets fans can cling to: Breece Hall is back, baby.

Ten months after tearing his ACL, Hall looked every bit the Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite he was before blowing the knee out last season. The burst. The wiggle. The see-ya-later speed. All back.

Hall declared his return early in the contest, starting with a 26-yard jaunt and then an 83-yard blastoff with the Jets backed up on their own 4-yard line.

"Breece looked good," Jets head coach Robert Saleh said after the Monday night's win. "I'm going to mess with him a little for getting caught on one. He's still getting his legs back, but he has such great vision and burst, and he is so slippery, deceptively slippery. Excited for him. He had a couple of big runs, a big screen. He is only going to get bigger, better, and stronger."

The expectation entering the season is that it could take Hall time to fully return from last season's devastating injury. Many backs have taken time to fully return to form -- Saquon Barkley and J.K. Dobbins being two recent examples. Instead, Hall was on that Adrian Peterson recovery timeline.

"Once I got on the field, I was like, 'I'm still that dude. Anytime I touch the ball, I can do whatever I want with it,'" Hall said. "I always had that mentality, but I was just happy the coaches stuck with me today. They said I was going to have a pitch count before the game, but I told them I don't want a pitch count, but if I have to, I will. So, they kind of just rolled with me, Dalvin (Cook), and MC (Michael Carter) carrying it. So, it was cool."

Rodgers' injury will put more focus on the backfield.

Hall rushed 10 times for 127 yards Monday night and added one catch for 20 yards. Cook took 13 totes for 33 yards, and Carter one for six.

Hall's ability to blast off for big plays is a game-changer for the New York offense. Next Gen Stats calculated he was supposed to rush for 46 yards on Monday night. He went for 127. The 81 rushing yards over expected marked the highest RYOE of any back in the NFL in Week 1 (ahead of Christian McCaffrey's 56).

There is no sugarcoating Gang Green losing a Hall of Fame quarterback they'd built their season around four plays into the first game. That's brutal. But the silver lining is that Hall looks fantastic, and maybe -- just maybe -- there are enough playmakers on offense to keep the Jets afloat for a long season despite the downgrade under center.

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