Jets RB Matt Forte misses practice again, won't play vs. Buccaneers

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Friday, November 10, 2017

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After missing practice for the third straight day with knee swelling, New York Jets running back Matt Forte was declared out for Sunday's road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Forte, 31, coming off his best game of the season, is experiencing discomfort in his right knee, which was surgically repaired at the end of last season. After a season-high 14 carries and catching four passes in last Thursday's win over the Buffalo Bills, Forte showed up Monday -- after a three-day respite -- complaining of soreness and swelling.

Forte said there's no plan for surgery at this point and he's hoping to return after the bye week on Nov. 26 against the Carolina Panthers.

"I've been playing with swelling for a while," he said. "It just got to a point where it's getting significantly worse. Obviously, going from a Sunday game to a Thursday game there's less recovery time and it just got worse."

Coach Todd Bowles said Forte will be reevaluated during the break. Given his age and knee history, the organization is concerned about his availability for the stretch run.

However, Forte said he's "pretty confident" he can play against the Panthers, but added, "I can't guarantee that, but that's what I want to happen."

Bilal Powell, who leads the team with 390 rushing yards, will be the featured back. Rookie Elijah McGuire (61 carries for 237 yards) will have an increased role as the No. 2 runner.

Statistically, Forte is having the worst year of his 10-year career. He has rushed only 57 times for 241 yards and two touchdowns, but he has contributed in the passing game -- 29 catches for 222 yards.

In other injury news, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (toe/shoulder), cornerback Morris Claiborne (foot) and guard Brian Winters (abdomen) are listed as questionable. The team is hopeful that all three will play.

Freelance reporter Lenn Robbins contributed to this report.