The Chicago Bears boast what is arguably the NFL’s most dynamic rushing attack going right now.
Unfortunately, they’ll be without a key cog for the next four games because ESPN’s Field Yates reports running back Khalil Herbert is going on injured reserve:
It is a busy day on the waiver wire for the Bears, but it’s the Herbert news that has our full attention. The 24-year-old is arguably the team’s best and most efficient running back. Herbert has 108 carries, 643 yards, and 4 touchdowns. That 6.0 yards per carry average dwarfs David Montgomery’s contributions in that department and is a tick behind quarterback Justin Fields. Before the IR stint, Herbert was running at a 184-carry, 1,093-yard, 7-touchdown pace. In other words, this is an important piece of the offensive puzzle that will miss the Bears’ games against the Falcons, Jets, Packers, and Eagles. But with the bye week built in, maybe we’ll see Herbert back for the final three games of the year against the Bills, Lions, and Vikings.
Sigh. I wonder if this was avoidable. Herbert didn’t go down with an injury until late in the game after returning a kick-off. Not getting an injury update from Head Coach Matt Eberflus had me thinking about this today:
With Herbert out, Montgomery figures to see a lion’s share of the carries again. But perhaps we’ll see Trestan Ebener get some burn. Or we could see receivers such as Chase Claypool or Velus Jones Jr. get some runs. We know Fields is prolific carrying the rock, but I don’t feel comfortable making him do everything on his own. Which is why it was nice to have a solid ball carrier like Herbert lining up in the backfield.
As for a new Bears player joining the roster, cornerback Justin Layne was a third-round pick (83rd overall) by the Steelers in 2019. Layne has 50 games of playing experience split between the Steelers (2019-21) and Giants (7 games in 2022). He doesn’t have any starts or interceptions on his record, but there is a first time for everything. Then again, he might be in just for potential special teams contributions. Layne has been on at least a 34 percent snap share in each of his first four seasons in the pros.
I’m sure we’ll get more tomorrow from the Bears, who have some things to sort through in the running backs room and in the return game.