- Associated Press - Sunday, July 31, 2016

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Matt Forte is in no rush to give his ailing hamstring a run during practice.

The New York Jets running back has sat out all four training camp sessions with what he calls a “minor” hamstring pull.

“It’s feeling better,” Forte said Sunday. “Heading into camp, I had a little, slight pull, a setback. Now, we’re just taking it slow so that I don’t reinjure it. Hamstrings are tricky, so if you reinjure it, then you could be set back longer.”

One of the Jets’ main free-agent signings this offseason, Forte said he hurt the hamstring while running on his own.

“Every day, I feel a lot better,” he said. “It’s the first week of camp, so I’ve got to take it patient. Once they give me the go-ahead, I’ll be at practice.”

Coach Todd Bowles said he had “no idea” when Forte might be able to take the field.

“He’s making progress and when he comes back, we’ll be ready for him to come back,” he said.

Forte has dealt with a previous hamstring injury, before his second NFL season with Chicago in 2009, when he said he tore it and still played a full season.

“This was just minor,” he said. “This is a 1 compared to that (out) of a 10.”

Forte spent his first eight seasons with the Bears, but had a career-low 898 yards rushing last year in 13 games. The Jets signed him to a three-year, $12 million contract, hoping he could provide a pass-catching threat while also replacing leading rusher Chris Ivory.

He is just two years removed from setting the NFL record for running backs with 102 receptions for the Bears. That type of playmaking skill has his Jets teammates eager to see how he’ll help improve an offense that finished 10th overall in the NFL last season.

“I think he’s going to add a lot,” wide receiver Eric Decker said. “Just his ability, not only running, but catching the ball out of the backfield and lining him up as a receiver.”

Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey likes using his running backs in various ways in his scheme, and Forte will give quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick yet another option.

“I love it, just going through it in OTAs, seeing the leeway and the versatility that you are able to have,” Forte said. “Chan likes to motion running backs out of the backfield, run routes from the backfield and that’s what I’m used to. I think it’ll be fun to see it when I practice and we go through our drills and stuff.”

Brandon Marshall led the Jets with a franchise-record 109 catches last season, while Decker had 80. The next two were running backs: Bilal Powell with 47 and Ivory with 30.

Forte has caught at least 44 passes during every season of his NFL career, so coming into the Jets’ system appealed to him during free agency.

“Obviously, having Brandon and Eric out there, they draw a lot of attention,” Forte said. “They can’t double-cover everybody. There’s a lot of real estate to be made, a lot of ground to be made underneath and I think it’ll happen.”

NOTES: CB Darrelle Revis (wrist) participated in light position drills and, like Forte, has yet to take part in team drills. There remains no timetable for him to fully practice. … Backup CB Dexter McDougle is day-to-day with a sore hamstring. … The Jets have their first day off from practice on Monday.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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