The Chicago Bears are considering a new direction at running back for the first time in a long time. Matt Forte has been the team’s workhorse ever since the Bears drafted him in 2008, but the dynamic has shifted since the recent emergence of Jeremy Langford.
After missing three games, Forte returned to the lineup on Thanksgiving and split carries pretty equally with Langford in a 17-13 win over the Green Bay Packers. Forte saw 38 snaps, according to Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus; Langford played 31.
Bears final HB snap count: Matt Forte 38, Jeremy Langford 31
When it comes to effectiveness, Langford was the better ball-carrier against the Packers. He received three fewer touches yet rushed for four more yards. The rookie also recorded Chicago’s longest run (17 yards) and the only rushing touchdown of the game. Langford and Forte each had one reception.
Langford: 12 carries, 48 yards (4.0 YPC)
Forte: 15 carries, 44 yards (2.9 YPC)
Over the next five games, the Bears must figure out which direction they want to go at running back. Forte’s current contract expires this spring, and he’s turning 30 years old next month. As productive as he’s been for eight seasons in Chicago, the team may be inclined to move forward with the younger, cheaper option after this season.