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Jets may turn to rookie with Bilal Powell, Matt Forte banged up

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets have big questions at running back as they prepare for their first-place showdown against the New England Patriots.

Bilal Powell strained a calf muscle on Sunday and is listed as day-to-day, according to coach Todd Bowles. Powell started for the injured Matt Forte, who missed his second game with turf toe.

There's a good chance the Jets will have to start rookie Elijah McGuire this week, hardly the ideal situation for such an important game.

"I'll be concerned at the end of the week," Bowles said. "Right now, I'll see how the week goes and, hopefully, we'll see some progress."

McGuire and Travaris Cadet, signed after Forte's injury, are the only two healthy backs on the roster. They're not planning to add another "at this time," Bowles said.

As of now, McGuire "will carry the load," according to the coach. A sixth-round pick from Louisiana-Lafayette, McGuire has impressed in limited action. He's second on the team with 176 rushing yards, a 5.2 average and one touchdown, a 69-yarder in Week 4. Cadet has played only five snaps in two games -- no rushes or receptions -- but he can catch the ball and could slide into the third-down role, if needed.

Forte made the trip to Cleveland over the weekend and was seen on the field before the game, taking part in a light workout. His injury was initially characterized as week-to-week.

Powell is the team's leading rusher (240 yards) and he also leads the running backs with 13 receptions.