Jets running back Matt Forte is missing time in the preseason and training camp due to a hamstring injury for the second year in a row, but told NJ.com's JJ Conrad he feels he is close to returning to the field.
"I'm feeling good, but not good enough to be in full practice yet," Forte said to Conrad on Monday. "I'm just going through what the trainers tell me, easing back in. I don't want to go back out there immediately and get injured again."
Forte, who did not play in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans in the Jets' preseason opener, said he the trainers are being cautious with him given the nature of hamstring injuries and the fact the veteran running back underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the end of last season.
"I'm running routes and stuff now, but the nature of my position, I can't go half-speed," Forte said, according to Conrad. "Especially with pads on. I'm close to being out there, but you've got to take precautions and be careful. You could sprint one time and have it pull worse than before and you're out another couple of weeks. I don't want that lingering into the season."
The 31-year-old running back ran for a career-low 813 yards and recorded a career-low 263 receiving yards last season, totaling eight all-purpose touchdowns in 14 games. He said in May he wants to be used more effectively in the passing game with new offensive coordinator John Morton.
"I want to be out there, especially with our offense and everybody out there grinding through camp," Forte said on Monday, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. "A lot of people are like, 'You're a vet, you should get your time off, rest,' but I don't like to rest; I like to go out there and prepare for the season. It's tough being in the waiting room ... I'm not used to that, so it's something that I just got to deal with, and when I am 100 percent when I get back out there, I got to work that much harder and extra work after practice and put in more time after practice.