FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jets running back Matt Forte missed Wednesday’s practice with continued swelling in his right knee, raising questions about his availability for Sunday’s game against the Panthers.
Forte played his best game of the season in a Week 9 victory over the Bills on Nov. 2, where he rushed 14 times for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Forte developed swelling in his right knee after that game and missed the next contest, Nov. 12 at Tampa Bay.
But Forte hasn’t practiced since Nov. 1 because of issues to the knee. He underwent offseason surgery on the same knee to repair a torn meniscus.
If Forte is out, expect Bilal Powell to start and rookie Elijah McGuire to also get playing time.
“This is a league that’s almost 100 percent guaranteed injury,” Powell said. “The next man always has to be up. You always got to prepare like a professional and be ready when your number is called.”
Starting defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. It was the first time Wilkerson has practiced in some form since Oct. 6 because of shoulder and toe issues. Wilkerson hasn’t missed any games this season.
Also, starting right tackle Kevin Beachum was given an excused absence because his wife had a baby boy, he announced on twitter. Todd Bowles said he expected Beachum to attend Thursday’s practice on Thanksgiving Day. Cornerback Rashard Robinson (illness) also missed practice. Cornerback Morris Claiborne (foot), safety Rontez Miles (ankle) and guard Brian Winters (abdomen) were limited.
On Tuesday, the Jets worked out safety Kelcie McCray, who played with Seattle last season, and cornerback/kick returner Will Likely, who was cut by the Patriots before the start of this season.