The two-time Pro Bowler has been battling a hamstring injury.
The Jets took a risk this offseason when they signed Matt Forte to be their lead running back. So far, the 30-year-old has only added to the list of reasons to be skeptical.
Forte has not practiced fully since training camp opened, and only began participating in positional drills the other day. At this point, he may not play at all in the preseason. Yet, while this hamstring injury has lingered a lot longer than anybody would like, the longtime Chicago Bears standout is confident it won’t keep him sidelined once the regular season gets underway.
As Manish Mehta for the New York Daily News reports, Forte claims he will “definitely” be ready for Week 1.
“It’s taken longer than I expected just because we’re being super, super cautious about it,” Forte said. “At this point, there’s really no reason to rush back out there. I got a lot of reps in the offseason. I know the offense. By watching in camp, I know it a lot more. It doesn’t take that long to get back into it. So I’m looking forward to being on the practice field soon.”
Holding Forte out of the preseason isn’t necessarily a bad idea, especially if he isn’t 100 percent. The ninth-year veteran shouldn’t require much of a tune-up, nor would it be wise to waste what remaining quality carries the back has left by playing him in meaningless games.
Of course, it’s unclear how much Forte has left in the tank, period. An aging back with a lot of miles, he may not be able to recover from injuries as quickly as he used to, and dings like this may be only a sign of things to come.