Jets RB Matt Forte did team periods Sunday for the second consecutive practice (also last Wednesday). He moved around well Sunday.
Forte sat out the Jets' first two preseason games. Will he play Saturday against the Giants? If he doesn't, he'd go into Week 1 with zero preseason game snaps. The Jets have three more practices before they face the Giants.
The story said HC Todd Bowles said Forte will play in that game "if he gets better during the week. We'll try to anticipate it in warm-ups. I'd like to get him a few snaps, if I could." If Forte doesn't play in the preseason it may be a stretch for him to see a bulk of the workload in Week 1, esp. with Bilal Powell in the picture who also excels in the passing game. It's a situation to monitor over the next few days.
Jets running back Matt Forte continued to progress in his return from a hamstring injury during Tuesday's practice.
Forte participated in practice for just the third time in training camp. He participated in one practice early in camp, and also on Sunday. The Jets were off Monday.
All three times, Forte has done just position drills, and no 11-on-11 team periods.
"I'm feeling good," Forte said. "I'm just progressing week by week. I'll be out there soon. I do individual drills, and then I do a lot of conditioning stuff, to get back into football shape."
Forte, who was injured while working out before camp, said after Tuesday's practice that he "definitely" will be available for the Jets' Sept. 11 regular season opener against the Bengals. But he isn't sure if he will play in any preseason games. He almost certainly won't play in Week 2 of the preseason, the story said.
Injured running back Matt Forte (hamstring), yet to practice, will be under the spotlight.
The Jets are beat up at running back. The latest injury: Dominique Williams, who has a concussion. That leaves only three healthy backs -- Bilal Powell, Romar Morris and Matthew Tucker. Khiry Robinson, recovered from a broken leg. Veteran Bernard Pierce, who pulled a hamstring soon after signing at the start of camp, could be on shaky ground
The story said it's too soon to panic, but Forte probably won't play next week if he misses a few more practices and then it's time to worry, the story went on to say. The article also added Robinson could get his first full-time work after limited work last week. Robinson could end up being a guy to get carries if Forte remains out. Powell's strength is more of a third-down back and he likely wouldn't see a large amount of rushes.
Monday, August 8, 2016, 7:47am
The clock is ticking on Pierce, who signed on the first day of camp and promptly pulled a hammy. There's a limit to the team's patience. "As camp goes, there’s a problem if you stay in the training room when you just got here and you haven’t shown yourself," coach Todd Bowles said. "He has (games) on tape. As the running backs get healthy, those who make plays, obviously get to play." Consider that a warning, Bernard.
Forte already has been ruled out for Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the preseason opener. There are only four healthy backs, only one of whom (Bilal Powell) is a lock to make the roster.
While the wait to see Forte at practice has come to an end, the wait to see him in game action with his new team is likely to extend a little longer.
Thursday, July 28, 2016, 9:23pm
It's all about Matt Forte, who will be asked to replace 1,000-yard rusher Chris Ivory as the lead dog in the Jets' backfield. Forte will be highly motivated after getting the cold shoulder from his forever team, the Chicago Bears. Forte, 30, is battling Father Time and a cranky knee that sparked some concern in free agency, but he's said to be healthy and rejuvenated as he approaches his ninth season. His workload will be an ongoing story. As a three-down back for the Bears, he averaged 315 touches (rushes and receptions) per year. That's a bit steep for an aging runner, so look for a time-share system with Bilal Powell.
There was a noticeable improvement last season in Powell's speed and quickness. He set career highs in yards per rush (4.5) and receptions (47), becoming a valuable member of the offense. He was the ideal complement to the bruising Ivory, but the dynamics have changed. Powell and Forte have similar skill sets, so it'll be interesting to how it plays out in terms of role definition.
Khiry Robinson could wind up as the short-yardage/goal-line back (fantasy alert). Don't be surprised if he starts camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Robinson sat out the offseason as he recovered from a broken leg, but he should be good to go in the preseason.
Forte may lose carries to Powell and/or Robinson, and is unlikely to score many rushing touchdowns. But if he's utilized regularly in the slot, he should be able to catch at least 50 passes, maybe more. Jets running backs caught a total of 90 balls last season under OC Chan Gailey. Forte hasn’t finished outside the top 12 in PPR formats in his eight-year career.
The Jets let Bilal Powell know how they felt about him by signing him to a three-year, $11.25 million contract in free agency. Powell is one of the few holdovers left from the Mike Tannenbaum era. Powell’s ability to stick with the Jets through three general managers and four offensive coordinators shows how valued he is.
The Jets revamped their running back corps this offseason, but Powell remains in the middle of it. It will be interesting to see how Gailey divides up the carries between Powell and Matt Forte, who arrives with a great reputation and resume. Powell complemented former Jets running back Chris Ivory, who was more of a bruising back than he is, but Powell and Forte have similar skill sets, so this could be a trickier division of labor for Gailey.
You can count on Powell getting major touches this season, though. Gailey will figure out a way.
Bears beat writer Brad Biggs:
Right now, I think most consider Jeremy Langford the odds-on favorite to be named the starter after he got 148 carries during his rookie season. But what you have to keep in mind is the Bears are more likely to go with a shared backfield than any time over the last eight seasons when Matt Forte got the bulk of the work (and nearly all of it in some seasons).
Coach John Fox has consistently used a backfield by committee in the past in time with the Broncos and Panthers and it’s a situation where the coaches look for the hot hand and ride it. This regime did not draft KaDeem Carey so right now I’d probably expect to see Jordan Howard emerge ahead of him. But Howard will have to earn that opportunity and he’s going to have to prove he’s adept at pass protection.
The Bears saw enough from Langford to convince the team to let Matt Forte walk. Langford averaged 21.3 touches for 122 yards and 1.3 TD in the three games that Forte missed. He finished as the #23 RB in standard formats with a significant role even when Forte was healthy enough to play. He only averaged 3.6 YPC and caught just 22 of the 42 targets that came his way. His NFL talent is a topic of hot debate this offseason, but no one can question the opportunity he has in Chicago.
Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey still is figuring out ways to deploy Matt Forte, the NFL's most prolific pass-catching back since his rookie year, 2008. When asked how Forte fits into his system, Gailey replied, "That's not the question. The question is, how do we adjust the system to fit Matt Forte?"
A good reference point might be C.J. Spiller, formerly of the Buffalo Bills. From 2011 to 2013 under Gailey, Spiller caught 115 passes. Gailey moved him around the formation, sometimes lining him up wide or in the slot. Forte has that kind of versatility.
Spiller caught 115 passes in three years under Gailey as a part-time player. In the 12 games that then-starter Fred Jackson missed, Spiller averaged 3.42 receptions per game. Forte may lose carries to Bilal Powell and/or Khiry Robinson, and is unlikely to score many rushing touchdowns. But if he's utilized regularly in the slot, he should be able to catch at least 50 passes, maybe more. Jets running backs caught a total of 90 balls last season under Gailey.
After Matt Forte spent the last eight seasons as the offense's heartbeat, coach John Fox seeks to keep it pumping with a committee approach. Replacing Forte's production, dependability and steadying presence is one of the team's greatest challenges entering Fox's second season.
"Maybe not one can do all that Matt brought to the table," running backs coach Stan Drayton said. "But they all bring a strength that can probably add up to what he brought. To say you're going to replace Matt Forte — it's going to take years, right?"
Probably. But Fox at least has a feel for managing a committee of backs, having deployed it as coach of the Panthers and Broncos. He knows what he's looking for as the competition progresses through spring practices, the preseason and into the regular season. Typically, he settles on two backs after analyzing a variety of factors.
"Who they are, what their strengths and weaknesses are," Fox said. "Then situationally, it can be…whoever has a hot hand."
While the uncertainty involving Jeremy Langford centers more on how he'll perform than whether he'll be in the rotation, the rest of the time share offers more questions than answers.
Jordan Howard's bruising style appealed to the Bears as a complement to Langford's speed. He'll have to prove his durability over a full NFL season, but the Bears like his chances to do so as part of a committee.
Related players: KaDeem Carey
The Bears fed the ball to Langford in the three games that Forte missed last year (21.3 touches per game), but Fox has always favored a committee approach at the position. The team tried to sign C.J. Anderson, so clearly they weren't sold on Langford as their workhorse back. He should lead the team in RB touches, but he'll share the workload with Howard and/or KaDeem Carey.
Forte finished as the #9 RB in standard (#7 in PPR) despite missing three games. He's on the wrong side of 30, and his YPC is down over the last couple of years, but he's still a very capable runner and is fantastic in the passing game. Chris Ivory has already signed elsewhere and it appears that Bilal Powell may be gone as well, so Forte figures to serve as the Jets' three-down back barring another big signing/draft pick.
"Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end. I was informed earlier this week from the GM that they will not be attempting to re-sign me in free agency. I will remain forever grateful for my time spent in Chicago and being able to play for an organization with such a rich history. My only regret is not being able to win a Lombardi trophy for the best fans in all of sports. I'm excited about the next chapter of my NFL career. But, Chicago will always be home. God Bless and Bear Down!"
Related players: Jeremy Langford
The Bears saw enough from Jeremy Langford to convince the team to let Forte walk. Langford averaged 21.3 touches for 122 yards and 1.3 TD in the three games that Forte missed. Langford finished as the #23 RB in standard formats with a significant role even when Forte was healthy enough to play. Langford is going off the board near the 2/3 turn of early 2016 fantasy drafts. He's likely to be a late 2nd round pick by summertime. As for Forte, he's on the wrong side of 30, but he's still a highly productive player and should be a hot commodity on the free agency market.
Friday, January 1, 2016, 6:26pm
Bears RB Matt Forte (back, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 17. Forte was dealing with a bad back late in Week 16. Jeremy Langford is shaping up as a Sneaky Start with Forte ailing. If Forte is inactive, Langford would turn into a great start. The Bears play early on Sunday.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 6:13pm
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