Jets running back Matt Forte (turf toe) was a full participant in Friday's practice and head coach Todd Bowles said he will play Sunday against the Patriots after missing two games. Other full participants in Friday's practice included defensive lineman Kony Ealy (shoulder), outside linebacker Josh Martin (ankle) and cornerbacks Darryl Roberts (hamstring) and Juston Burris (foot). However, RB Bilal Powell (calf) and DL Muhammad Wilkerson (toe/shoulder) both did not practice and are questionable for Sunday's Week 6 matchup.
With the uncertainty of Powell's availability, rookie back Eli McGuire could receive more playing time against New England. McGuire, who has impressed through five weeks his rookie season, said he’s just focused on doing his job.
The Jets top two leaders in receptions, Jermaine Kearse and Jeremey Kerley, have made an immediate impact after they joined the team following the preseason finale. The duo have combined to total 39 receptions on 44 targets, helping quarterback Josh McCown earn a 71.4 completion percentage, which ranks second in the NFL.
"Just putting in the time and the effort," Kearse said of his team-leading 22 receptions and three touchdowns. "For me, it's being very opportunistic and just trying to make the most out of each opportunity that I have. I've been able to do that."
Kerley hasn’t dropped a pass since joining the Green & White and of his 17 receptions, nine have resulted in a first down and five have gone for third-down conversions.
"Just hard work," Kerley said. "Every day I come in, I try to pick something else to work on that can help my game. Obviously catching is a big part of it, so every day I take it to the next level and work on it when nobody is looking. Just getting in extra catches and stuff."
Fast Out of the Gate
Bowles emphasized starting faster in all three phases this week. The defense needs to be on their toes from the get-go as the Patriots have scored 66% of their points in the first half. Conversely, Jets offensive coordinator John Morton made it a point to get the offense going early as the unit has scored seven points in the first quarter through five weeks.
"Yeah, so that it is like the beginning of the game," Morton said of his up-tempo practices. "Right from stretch, 'Boom! Let's go.' Just the mindset that this is a major focus, let's make sure we come out, whether there's noise out there, it's chaos, different snap counts and things like that. Let's just make it game-like and let's come off."
Kings of the AFC East
The Jets will face their toughest test of the season as the Patriots come to MetLife Stadium in Week 6. Led by quarterback Tom Brady, whom defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers described as "unbelievable," the Pats offense sits atop the NFL in total and passing yards and ranks third in scoring at 29.6 points per game.
"Until they fall, they're still the standard of the division," Bowles said. "We feel like we have an opportunity to go 4-2, we feel like we have a chance to get a leg up in the division. It's Week 6, we're not winning anything or losing anything right now. We want to win because it's a division ball game and then we'll see where the chips fall after that."
Best Images from the Final Practice of the Week
In recent years, October has represented breast cancer awareness month for the NFL. This year, the league launched Crucial Catch, an initiative in which each team decides to raise awareness for a form of cancer of their choosing. The Jets will represent pediatric cancer for the month of October and will wear yellow sweatbands.