FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets will be down two starters and three key backups when they face the winless Cleveland Browns on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Running back Matt Forte (turf toe) and linebacker Josh Martin (ankle), neither of whom practiced this week, were ruled out on Friday. Once again, the Jets will rely on Bilal Powell and rookie Elijah McGuire to carry the ball. They did the job last week, combining for 259 yards on the ground and two long touchdown runs.
This will be second missed game for Forte, who has yet to have a full practice since injuring his toe in Week 3. It's a tough injury for a running back -- especially a 31-year-old -- and it bears watching.
The biggest concern is the secondary. Nickelback Juston Burris injured a foot Thursday and was unable to practice Friday, prompting the team to list him as questionable. If he can't play, they'd have a big problem because backup nickelback Darryl Roberts (hamstring) was declared out.
Currently, the Jets have only four healthy corners on the roster. Marcus Williams could move into the No. 3 role, with rookie Derrick Jones (yet to be active for a game) in the No. 4 slot. If Burris is out, they could bring up a corner from the practice squad (Xavier Coleman or Terrell Sinkfield) or simply use an extra safety in certain packages. They've used three-safety looks in the first four games.
Defensive end Kony Ealy (shoulder), another key reserve, also was ruled out. He got hurt last Sunday in one of the best games of his career (four pass deflections and an interception). Without Ealy, they're down to five defensive linemen, although Lawrence Thomas -- now a fullback -- can go back to the defensive line in an emergency. The Jets are concerned about Ealy's shoulder; it's one of the reasons they worked out veteran free agent Kendall Langford on Wednesday.
Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder) is listed as questionable, but he's expected to play.