When Jets running back Isaiah Crowell went down, Elijah McGuire stepped up.
And he hopes to keep the momentum going in the future.
McGuire totaled 83 yards from scrimmage, the most he's had since Week 4 in 2017, and scored the game-winning 1-yard touchdown in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills after Crowell left the game with a foot injury.
"You can't take it for granted," McGuire said, according to the New York Post's Brian Costello.
The 24-year-old McGuire, New York's sixth-round pick last season, missed the first eight weeks of the season due to a broken foot that required surgery.
"It was tough because I planned on coming in this season, man, and not missing a game," McGuire said. "For that to happen, it was very tough not to be on the field with my guys, my teammates. It's something that I couldn't control. I left it in God's hands and now it's working out."
He returned in Week 9, after running back Bilal Powell suffered a season-ending neck injury. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates called him an integral part of the offense, noting how strong he had been at times last season. His 69-yard touchdown keyed a 23-20 overtime win over the Jaguars.
"He was really impressive last year," Bates said. "We were excited about getting him, he got hurt the first day. So we were excited to get him back. He's going to get positive yards every time. He's tough, he's strong, he's smart. A good all-around football player."
He had a chance to further prove himself last Sunday when Crowell left the game. McGuire had 17 carries for 60 yards and three catches for 23 yards, but his most important rush came on a Sam Darnold handoff on fourth-and-goal late in the fourth quarter, scoring from a yard out to give the Jets their first victory since Week 6.
"You've just got to know the situation and pre-read the defense on how they align," McGuire said. "If you see a side overload, you have to take a peek over there and see how the play is going to be blocked. If I had would have been too fast on that play, I wouldn't have gotten in. I had to be patient and let my guys get on their blocks and then make something happen."
Crowell did not practice on Wednesday, and with the Jets on a short week, facing the Texans on Saturday, McGuire looks primed to start again for another chance to increase his role.
"You've always got to be ready when you're number's called and prepare like a starter always," McGuire said. "That's what I've been doing, just watching what's going on in the classroom and just take it onto the field."