Would Matt Forte Share the Workload with Jeremy Langford?


Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte continues to improve as he works his way back from a knee injury. Forte has missed the last two games and is questionable for Sunday’s match-up with the Denver Broncos.

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Since Forte has been out, rookie Jeremy Langford has emerged as a legitimate running back and seems ready to take the reigns and become the Bears starter in 2016. With Forte back soon, after handling the Bears’ workload almost exclusively since 2008, would he be open to splitting the carries with the rookie?

Per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, that answer is absolutely. In terms of splitting time with Langford, Forte said:

"I actually like it because now going forward I’m not going to have to play every single play or every down. So we can at least be healthy and be at full speed out there."

Not many star players are open to sharing the load, but it’s no surprise, Forte handles the situation with all class, that’s the type of man he is. Even though the Bears may be able to replace his football skills, his leadership and integrity will be impossible to replace. When a star’s future replacement is on the roster, we’ve heard the stories about the bumpy transitions. We remember Brett Favre refusing to help Aaron Rodgers, with Forte, it’s completely different, also from Biggs:

"Jeremy has talent, he’s done his job like he’s supposed to. … I’ve constantly worked with him and continue to tell him what I know so he can be consistent. You don’t want to go out there and have good games and then go out there and lay an egg."

Forte also addressed his pending free agency, and spoke as you would expect Matt Forte to do:

Oct 18, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

"I think I already proved at the beginning of the season, through the first couple of games, I was still productive. I’m just playing football now. I’m worried about this year. I’m not really worried about what’s going on after that. I’ll be a free agent at the end of the year, and I’ll continue my career no matter what happens."

You can tell Forte can read between the lines: Ryan Pace has shown little interest in discussing a contract extension, he knows his price is significantly higher than Langford and more than the Bears want to pay, and Langford has taken every advantage of filling in for Forte while he’s been hurt. Forte knows the Bears are going to let him walk, he’s accepted it, he’s at peace with it, and he’s going to handle it with class, like we all would expect Matt Forte to do.

Next: Bears vs Broncos: Five Questions with Predominantly Orange