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What to expect from Matt Forte next season with the Jets

Dec 17, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) makes a run in the fourth quarter against Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) makes a run in the fourth quarter against Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports /
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For years, veteran running back Matt Forte has been one of the best versatile running backs in the NFL. Can he still be that top notch player in 2017 with the New York Jets?

The Chicago Bears were blessed with one of the best versatile running backs of all time when they drafted Matt Forte in 2008. Eight years later, the New York Jets were able to get a taste of that skill for much of the 2016 season.

However, after nine seasons in the NFL, and coming off a knee injury, skeptics wonder if he can still be that all-star guy in 2017. Forte was a light in a dark 2016 season until he suffered a torn meniscus in Week 11.

This injury put him out for the last two weeks of the regular season and forced him to have arthroscopic knee surgery. While he is expected to be back in the spring, he probably won’t be the same player. Knee injuries are bad for all football players, but they are especially tragic for veterans.

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Forte turned 31 last December, and he’s put a lot of miles on his legs. He has 9,415 rushing yards, 52 rushing touchdowns, and 2,253 carries in his nine-year career, but that’s not all.

Since he was also used as an extra receiver during his time in Chicago, he also has a lot of “flier miles.” Forte has totaled 4,379 receiving yards, 20 receiving touchdowns, and 517 receptions.

It is likely that Forte will not be the best running back on the Jets’ roster in 2017. If the team still wants to keep paying him for the next two years, they might want to think about using him as a mentor for other running backs.

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The Jets should start Bilal Powell and draft a rookie running back to have as a backup if something happens to him. Whatever the case, Forte should definitely not be the starter in 2017.

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