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Bilal Powell out, Matt Forte iffy for Jets’ preseason opener

Bilal Powell runs upfield during Jets training camp at

Bilal Powell runs upfield during Jets training camp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. on Aug. 3, 2017. Photo Credit: James Escher

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — As if this offense needed any more setbacks.

It appears as if Bilal Powell and Matt Forte will be unavailable for the Jets’ first preseason game Saturday night against the Titans, according to coach Todd Bowles.

Bowles “definitely” ruled out Powell (neck) after the final practice before the game at MetLife Stadium. Powell suffered the injury on a hit during practice last week.

As for his other running back, who is suffering from a tweaked hamstring: “We’ll see tomorrow,” Bowles said.

Neither competed in the 11-on-11s.

Not all about defense

Though the Jets’ defense is expected to carry a lot of the load this season, Leonard Williams said the group doesn’t feel any undue pressure. In fact, he believes that training camp has been a positive for all three units.

“I think the weight should be on every person’s shoulder here,” he said. “We’re all carrying the team. It’s not any individual or any individual groups. It’s offense, defense, special teams . . . It’s going to take everybody to carry the weight . . . Not just as a defensive line but overall, the whole team, the first few weeks of camp have been great.”

Williams pointed to Muhammad Wilkerson in particular as someone he is anxious to see play Saturday night. Wilkerson, he said, seems fully recovered from the ankle injury that derailed his season last year.

“He’s out there moving fast, moving well on it,” he said. “He never mentions it and it just looks pretty good.”

Decker returns

It’s as if he barely even left. The Jets will face Eric Decker only two months after his release, something that even the unsentimental Bowles deemed a little weird.

“Considering he was just here, obviously [it’s strange],” he said. “I’ll be happy to see him before the game and after the game. You don’t want [an opponent] to do well during the game, but me and Eric have a great relationship and will continue to have one.”


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