Matt Forte expects to play against Patriots

New York Jets' Matt Forte (22) is tackled by Buffalo Bills' Lorenzo Alexander (57) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

[UPDATE]: While veteran running back Matt Forte is expected to suit up against the rival New England Patriots, it appears as though fellow New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is unlikely to play in Week 6, according to ESPN.

The New York Jets are getting one of the team’s star playmakers back in the lineup just in time for a crucial Week 6 showdown with the rival New England Patriots. Veteran running back Matt Forte not only told the New York Post’s Roger Rubin that he expects to play in Sunday’s AFC East clash, but also that he went “full speed” during practice this week.

“A lot,” Forte said when asked how much cutting he’d done in practice. “I just go full speed like I know how and I feel good. … It’s a lot better.”

Jets offensive coordinator John Morton confirmed his running back’s optimism, too, telling the New York Post, “It’s good that we got Matt back.”

Forte has been suffering from turf toe since late September, causing him to miss New York’s past two games — close wins over the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jets are especially fortunate that the two-time Pro Bowler is healthy this week given the uncertain status of time-share running back Bilal Powell. He left last week’s game against Cleveland in the second quarter with a calf injury, forcing third-stringer Elijah McGuire into a featured role. One week earlier, Powell shredded Jacksonville for 163 yards on the ground; McGuire managed just 20 yards on 11 carries versus the Browns.

New England righted its ship defensively during a Thursday evening victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, but is still ranked last in the NFL in total yards allowed per game. With both the Jets and Patriots sitting at 3-2, Sunday’s game is of utmost importance to the AFC East race.

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