Gang Green's Key Offseason Acquisition Appears To Finally Be Over Troublesome Hamstring Injury

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Jets appear ready to unveil their newest offensive weapon.

Recovered from a troublesome hamstring injury, veteran running back Matt Forte is expected to play on Saturday during the annual preseason tilt against the Giants.

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“I’m back to normal practice, where I get reps with the first team and they’re not watching my reps,” Forte said following the team’s workout on Wednesday in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Matt Forte practices

Jets running back Matt Forte takes part in drills during training camp. (Photo: Nick Delahanty/New York Jet Fuel)

After living by the pass for much of the 2015 season, the Jets tinkered with their backfield during the offseason, bringing in the versatile Forte, along with speedster Khiry Robinson, to work alongside change-of-pace option Bilal Powell.

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Forte was one of the NFL’s top offensive players during an eight-year run in Chicago before signing a three-year, $12 million contract with the Jets to begin free agency. Long respected for his ability as a pass-catcher, Forte churned out five 1,000-yard rushing seasons with the Bears.

But the 30-year-old’s tenure with the Jets got off to a slow start due to the injury. He only recently started taking part fully in team drills in training camp.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles has said Forte going full speed in workouts would go a long way toward determining his status for the season opener on Sept. 11 against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals. He said the important thing now is to see how Forte reacts to contact.

“I hope so, if he doesn’t have any setbacks,” Bowles said of Forte’s chances of playing Saturday. “Usually I’ll see how he warms up, but I’m trying to get him playing, because I want him to get hit before the first game and have that not be his first time.”

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In 120 career regular season games, Forte has rushed for 8,602 yards. He also has 4,116 receiving yards, to go along with 487 receptions and 64 total touchdowns.