"The Workhorse" is back in harness.
"It felt really good to get out there," RB Matt Forte said after returning to team drills today for the first time since July 31 due to his sore hamstring. "I hate having to watch through camp, but with an injury you've got to do that. I was excited to get back out there finally. Prayers do come true ... a lot of prayer."
Not to mention Forté's fanatical approach to his job, whether it's getting in shape for a season or getting back as soon as possible from injury.
But this hammy, while not tougher than last year's hamstring issue that ended his first Jets season prematurely, presented its own problems.
"Last year I actually had to get a PRP [platelet rich plasma] injection and that kind of stuff because there was actually a tear in it," he explained. "This one, there was no tear in it, it was just a strain."
But, he said, while the diagnosis was a Grade 1, mild, strain, "it just took longer than I expected to heal. To get back to full speed took a couple of weeks, which I wasn't expecting. Sometimes you can't predict that type of thing."
But we could have predicted Forté's reaction to the expected questions about his availability.
Will he play against the Giants? "That's my goal is to be playing on Saturday. I don't know what the coach's plan is, but that's my plan."
And is there any doubt he'll be playing at Buffalo on opening day? "No doubt."
That's not surprising. In his previous nine NFL seasons, Forté has rested a few preseason games with some injuries, but he's never missed a season opener, or a home opener for that matter.
And that's a good thing for these Jets. With the players now on the roster, for the offense to be as good as it can be, it's probably best to have Forté and Bilal Powell providing their 1-2 punch in the running game.
Jets Practiced in Full Pads During the Final Week of Training Camp
And it's good for his teammates to hear Forté's quiet yet assertive positivity. He's been rock steady all offseason and preseason when asked about the "naysayers outside the building." Today the question was about the national media that have been saying the Green & White will have trouble scoring points.
"I couldn't care less about what the national media has to say about us," he said. "We haven't played a down or a snap yet. ... We have a lot of talent. We have enough talent to make plays and score points. People can say what they want."
Forte's planning to be a part of whatever the 2017 Jets turn out to be, starting with some participation in their final dress rehearsal against the Giants.