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Jets’ ground game must improve to have a chance to win

Jets running back Matt Forte attempts to catch the

Jets running back Matt Forte attempts to catch the ball during a game against the Bills on Sept. 10, 2017 in Orchard Park. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Brett Carlsen

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — If the Jets’ offense is going to have success this season, the running game needs to be effective.

That wasn’t the case in the Week 1 loss to the Bills.

Starting running back Matt Forte rushed for just 16 yards and backup Bilal Powell led the Jets with 22.

Only the Giants (35) and Steelers (35) had fewer rushing yards in Week 1 than the Jets (38).

“We didn’t match them execution-wise where you got a guy unblocked here, a guy unblocked there,” Forte said. “In the run game, execution is like the most important thing possible because if you mess up in one section of it, it’s not like penetration or something like that. It’s lack of execution that’s what you need the most. The line is working together with the tight ends and I’m working with them so we all got to be on the same page.”

Issues at tight end

Tight ends Eric Tomlinson (elbow) and Jordan Leggett (knee) didn’t practice Wednesday leaving some doubt about their availability for Sunday’s game at Oakland. Will Tye and Neal Sterling did practice but it leaves the Jets shorthanded at the position.

Tomlinson caught two passes for 25 yards in the loss to the Bills.

“We’re banged up there, but we have to make contingency plans,” Todd Bowles said. “There are injuries every week. We just have to adjust.”

Jet streams

CB Morris Claiborne (ankle) and LB Edmond Robinson (groin) were limited in practice. T Kelvin Beachum (knee), G James Carpenter (shoulder), DT Steve McLendon (hamstring), DE Leonard Williams (wrist) and RB Matt Forte (knee and abdomen) were listed on the practice report as full participants . . . Bowles said no decision has been made regarding the backup quarterback position . . . Veteran WR Jeremy Kerley is still getting up to speed on the offense and Bowles wasn’t sure if he’ll play. Kerley was signed Sept. 5 and was inactive for the season-opener.

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