Matt Forte is experiencing some déjà vu in training camp this year. He’s trying to use it as a learning experience.
Battling a hamstring injury in the same leg as he did last August, Forte participated in light drills during Monday’s Jets practice but again sat out 11-on-11 team drills.
The veteran running back hasn’t been a full practice participant since he originally tweaked the hamstring July 31.
“I’m feeling good — not good enough to be in full practice yet, so I’m just kind of going through what the trainers tell me and easing back in,” Forte said Monday. “I don’t want to go back out there immediately and get injured again. Hamstrings are tricky. I had one last year and came back out to practice and ended up injuring it. That’s why it took multiple weeks.”
Forte played in only one preseason game last year but was ready in time for Week 1. The 31-year old went on to play in 14 games, rushing for a career-low 813 yards on 218 carries before missing the final two games with a nerve issue in his shoulder.
In the offseason, Forte underwent arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus he had been playing through.
Forte guessed Monday he was “pretty close” to returning at full speed.
“For me, it’s real tough because obviously I want to be out there, especially with our offense and everybody out there grinding through camp,” Forte said. “A lot of people are saying, ‘You’re a vet. Get your time off and rest some stuff,’ but I don’t like to rest.”
Fellow running back Bilal Powell, who has a neck injury of his own, also was in pads Monday but did not take carries in 11-on-11 drills.
Chandler Catanzaro missed 3-of-6 field goals during Monday’s practice, including a 25-yarder wide of the uprights, while Ross Martin went a perfect 7-for-7 with a long of 55 yards.
Catanzaro was the only one to attempt kicks in Saturday’s game — he missed a 55-yarder and made an extra point — but Bowles said Martin should see action in Detroit.
“If [Catanzaro] performs under the lights, it’s not a concern,” Bowles said. “If he doesn’t, it is.”
Bowles confirmed safety Doug Middleton suffered a torn pec in Saturday’s game and will be out “for some time.” They will await a second opinion before deciding whether he will go on the injured reserve list.
Rookie linebacker Dylan Donahue, who missed the preseason opener with a sore shoulder, showed no rust Monday. He tipped a Josh McCown pass at the line of scrimmage in 11-on-11 drills and later sacked Christian Hackenberg.
In red-zone drills near the end of practice, McCown had an open target in running back Elijah McGuire as he headed for the end zone. Instead, as McGuire turned around for the pass, the ball hit him in the helmet and dropped for an incompletion.
The staff blasted crowd noise through speakers during the 11-on-11 portion of practice. Coach Todd Bowles said it was in preparation for playing in a dome at Ford Field on Saturday.
It wasn’t a day to write home about for any of the signal callers, but McCown took the majority of first-team snaps and went 8-for-17 with four sacks. Hackenberg was 7-of-16 with seven sacks while Bryce Petty was 5-for-8 with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Freddie Bishop (neck stinger), who drew the start at outside linebacker Saturday, and Middleton (torn pec) missed practice. Wide receiver Lucky Whitehead also left practice Monday with a foot injury. Lorenzo Mauldin (back) returned.