How do the running backs perform with Herbert out?
Another aspect of the Chicago Bears' success last week was the running game. Running back Khalil Herbert was on his way to a monster game. He had 9 carries for 76 yards in the first half alone. A few minutes before halftime, however, he suffered an ankle injury. He came back in the second half to give it a go. He could not run on it, though, and went down quickly. He missed the rest of the game.
It turned out that Herbert suffered a high ankle sprain. While the team was not specific about how much time he will miss, head coach Matt Eberflus stated that he will miss multiple weeks.
In Herbert's absence, another rusher has to take over. Having an effective running game will help create some space for Fields to throw. If the defense is concerned with the running game, they will have to decide to send some defenders to try to stop it. That means the coverage downfield is thinned out.
The problem is that Herbert was not the only person on the running back unit who suffered an injury. Roschon Johnson, who moved up from fourth-round pick to RB2, was in concussion protocol. Travis Homer, used primarily on special teams, is dealing with a hamstring situation.
We still do not know what the status for both those players will be as of yet. However, there is one player who is healthy, D'Onta Foreman. Foreman, a free-agent signee this offseason, has been a healthy scratch in the last four games. After Johnson rose in the depth chart, Foreman has sunk. Now, if Johnson cannot go, Foreman could be in the spotlight. He is coming off of a career-year last season in which he had 914 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Hopefully Johnson passes protocol and he is ready to go. His story is a real good one. He spent his entire college career playing behind Bijan Robinson, one of the top prospects in this year's draft. Now he wants to show that he is good enough to start at the pro level. With Herbert out for an extended period, let's see if Johnson gets that chance.