Matt Forte Out Two Weeks?


Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Officially all the Chicago Bears are saying is that RB Matt Forte’s knee injury won’t require season ending surgery. Forte left last week’s game after taking a hit directly on the knee from Vikings safety Harrison Smith. He walked off the field on his own power and was considered questionable to return, which led me to believe it wasn’t that serious. Established NFL media members are saying otherwise.

ESPN’s Chris Mortenson said yesterday on NFL Insiders that Forte will miss “at least two weeks” and that he “obviously” won’t be ready to play this Monday night against the Chargers. Bears HC John Fox has been notoriously tight-lipped about injuries through out his coaching career, so it’s very possible that he is just hiding the truth that Forte will be out for a few weeks. I’m hoping for the best, but the fact that a respected NFL media source seems confident in Forte’s diagnosis doesn’t bode well for his chances.

Forte is the heart of the Bears offense and losing him even for a week or two would be a crushing blow to a Bears team that is still struggling to establish it’s offensive identity. It also probably eliminates any chance that the Bears trade Forte before this afternoon’s trade deadline.

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If Forte misses any time, rookie Jeremy Langford will take his spot as the lead back. With OC Adam Gase’s ultra-conservative scheme, Langford should get plenty of carries and will have a chance to make up for the dropped 3rd down pass in last week’s loss. I’ve been impressed with Langford’s toughness and rushing ability so far and am interested to see what he can do with a full workload. He’s not going to replace Forte’s production, but should give the Bears management an idea if he can handle the role next year if the Bears don’t re-sign Forte.

Assuming that the Forte injury rumors have some truth to them, the Bears will probably have to make a short-term roster move. Veteran back-up Jacquizz Rodgers is on the injured reserve, leaving just untested Ka’Deem Carey and recent signing Antone Smith as Langford’s back-ups. It’s rumored that the Bears may bring in former Bronco 2nd round pick Montee Ball, who was released almost two months ago. Both Fox and Gase are familiar with Ball and he may still have still have some upside, though the fact that no team has signed him since his release in early September is troubling. Kapri Bipps, who the Broncos signed as an undrafted free agent last year, and Travis Cadet, who is a solid receiver out of the backfield, are two other possible replacement options.