Forte is dealing with turf toe in his left foot, and sat out practice Wednesday. He was injured last Sunday in the Jets’ 20-6 win over Miami and is uncertain when he’ll be able to play again.
“I have no idea,” Forte said. “We have to wait until we see how it feels. If I’m able to practice, we’ll go from there.”
As insurance for Forte, the Jets signed former Saints running back-kick returner Travaris Cadet. New York also has Bilal Powell, who would likely start if Forte can’t play, and rookie Elijah McGuire at the position.
The 31-year-old Forte has previously dealt with turf toe, a painful condition that is commonly classified as a sprain of the ligaments or joints under the big toe. He was a rookie with Chicago in 2008 when he had the condition on his right foot – but he missed no games.
“It’s tough to deal with because the nature of your position at running back, obviously, there’s a lot of pressure on your toes when you’re running and you’re making cuts and even blocking,” Forte said.
“I know it’s tough to deal with. I’ve fought through it before. There’s a number of things you can do, you can tape it, orthotics. I’m taking every angle and I’ll try to get back on the field as fast as possible.”
Forte left the game Sunday after a 12-yard run put the ball at the Dolphins 1 early in the third quarter. He finished with 25 yards on eight carries, and has a team-leading 94 yards rushing on 23 rushes this season.
“It’s not as severe as the one I had in my rookie year,” Forte said. “It kind of hurt on the bottom and this one doesn’t … so that’s a good thing.”
Coach Todd Bowles said it’s too early to tell how long Forte could be sidelined.
“He could be ready by the end of the week,” Bowles said. “It could take another week. It depends on how he feels. We’ll see.”
Forte has been one of the NFL’s best receivers out of the backfield during his career. Cadet could potentially replace Forte in that role.
“He’s a good receiver out of the backfield,” Bowles said. “He can run the ball, he’s very good on third downs, he’s a change-of-pace back and he could return kicks.”
Forte isn’t the only big name on the Jets dealing with an injury. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has a Grade I sprain of the AC joint in his left shoulder, and it’s something he might have to deal with all season.
“Yeah, probably, most likely, but that’s football,” Wilkerson said. “That comes with the business. I have to take care of it each and every day and hope it feels good on Sunday.”
Wilkerson sat out practice Wednesday and has gotten off to a quiet start this season. He has just nine tackles and no sacks or quarterback hurries.
Still, Wilkerson refuses to use the shoulder injury as an excuse for a lack of production.
“I’ll be all right,” he said. “I’m not frustrated.”
When asked if he has considered resting for a week to heal, Wilkerson said: “Yeah, the bye week.” The Jets have off during Week 11.
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams is also off to a slow start with no sacks as he deals with a bone bruise in his left wrist. Last week, Williams acknowledged that it’s something he might have to play through all season. He was limited at practice Wednesday.
“It’s going to be delicate,” Bowles said. “We’ve got to understand when he’s in a lot of pain, and when he’s not. It’s going to have to be managed every week all year, so it seems.”
NOTES: WR Charone Peake was placed on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain to make room for Cadet, but Bowles said he’s a candidate to return from IR later this season. … DE Kony Ealy (excused), TE Jordan Leggett (knee), LB Josh Martin (ankle) and RT Brandon Shell (shoulder) all didn’t practice. If Shell can’t play, Brent Qvale and Ben Ijalana would be candidates to start in his place. … TE Eric Tomlinson (elbow) and RG Brian Winters (abdomen) were limited. Both missed the game against Miami. … Bowles and several players said they have not yet discussed how they will handle the national anthem on Sunday. The entire team, including acting owner Christopher Johnson, stood on the sideline with their arms linked together. … S Terrence Brooks, acquired from Philadelphia for Dexter McDougle during the preseason, was selected as the AFC defensive player of the year after he had two interceptions against the Dolphins.
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