Powell took over the Jets' backfield toward the end of last year in place of the injured Forte, and while there have been plenty of expectations that Powell could win the starting job, NJ.com is obviously not buying it. Nevertheless, Forte's upside will certainly be capped due to Powell's presence, as well as that of rookie Elijah McGuire, who figures to get more work as the season unfolds.
Forte said he has no problem splitting snaps, but hopes Morton will go with a hot-hand approach, rather than using him and Powell in specific roles. Forte opened last season getting a heavy workload on the ground under former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, with Powell handling most of the passing-down work and then taking on more carries as the season progressed. As one of the most prolific pass-catching backs in league history, Forte hopes to rotate by series rather than by downs. Forte may ultimately find himself taking a back seat to Powell in all regards, as the 28-year-old averaged 5.5 yards per carry (on 131 attempts) and caught 58 passes last season, while Forte ran for just 3.7 yards per carry (218 attempts) and had 30 receptions. Forte did produce 6.1 yards per target compared to Powell's 5.2, perhaps lending some credence to the veteran's belief that he should be more involved in the passing game. Forte played part of last season with a torn meniscus and had surgery in early January, but there's been no indication the knee is still an issue.
According to head coach Todd Bowles,
Forte missed the final two games of the season due to the injury, as he ended his first season in New York with 813 yards and seven touchdowns on 218 rushing attempts to go along with 30 receptions for 263 yards and one touchdown. The veteran back is under contract through the 2018 season but is coming off the worst season of his career, so the
Forte had already been ruled out for a second consecutive week and as the Jets approach their season finale, the move enabled the team to promote DB Bryson Keeton to the active roster. Forte thus finishes the 2016 campaign with 218 carries for 813 yards and 30 catches for 263 yards along with eight total TDs over 14 games.
Meanwhile, Bilal Powell (knee) and Brandon Wilds (hamstring) are listed as questionable this week, while Brandon Burks was the only