Underworked Ivory stays patient -- for now

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Running back Chris Ivory said he's not unhappy with his role -- yet -- but he acknowledged Monday he's not getting the ball as much as he expected.

"Honestly, I feel like it's been a little bit conservative," he said. "Hopefully, we get some things going. But it hasn't been as many [carries] as I thought."

Ivory has 34 carries in five games (he missed one game with a hamstring injury), 53 fewer carries than Bilal Powell. Ivory said the coaches told him he's the short-yardage back, yet he wasn't used Sunday on a third-and-1 from the Pittsburgh Steelers 2-yard line. Powell got the ball, and he was stuffed.

"I was actually supposed to be in there," said Ivory, adding that it was the short-yardage personnel grouping. "But [the coaches] told me to stay there on the sideline."

Ivory played only nine offensive snaps in the 19-6 loss, carrying the ball four times for 16 yards. He said he's not ready to make a stink yet because he believes his limited playing time has been dictated by the types of defenses they've faced, but he won't stay quiet for the entire season.

"I'm happy, I'm fine," he said. "I say that because we have a lot of ball left. But if it's close to the end of the season and it's still the same, I can say I wouldn't be too happy."

Ivory missed the bulk of training camp with a hamstring injury, falling behind Powell. His touches should increase now that No. 2 back Mike Goodson is out for the season with torn knee ligaments. But Ivory senses the coaches still don't have full confidence in his ability as a blocker in pass protection.

"Right now, I still don't think they really trust me all the way yet," he said. "Maybe in certain protections, but I'm not sure if they trust me all the way based on how many times they put me in. But I guarantee you, I'll gain it."

Actually, Ivory made a nice block on a blitzing linebacker in the third quarter. The play didn't end well, as Geno Smith threw his first interception.

Ivory was projected as the Jets' feature back. They traded a fourth-round pick for him and signed him to a three-year, $6 million contract, including $2.25 million to sign.