This Chicago Bears rookie struggled against Falcons

Chicago Bears - Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears had just seemed to figure out the perfect usage for their duo of David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. So of course it is only the way of the NFL that once it gets going Herbert got injured.

With Herbert out, the team went back to Trestan Ebner and mostly went back from the split backfield to Montgomery leading the way. That is because the team has yet to be able to trust Ebner.

Chicago Bears rookie running back struggles

Ebner played 15 snaps on Sunday. He had six carries for eight yards. With a long run of six, that brings five carries for two yards with the rest.

Ebner ran with intensity, but sometimes that bordered on panic. He was not patient in letting his holes develop and at times ran into blockers.

Beyond that is the play below. The team is setting up a screen for Ebner, but the result is a sack. When you look at Michael Schofield, it looks like he sees Arnold Ebikete rushing toward the quarterback untouched, then just lets him go. He does, this because he is supposed to sell that he is blocking, then run out and protect the screen. It should take the rusher out of the play.

The issue is Ebner. Watch him below, as he also sells that he is blocking before setting up the screen. However, he takes way too long to set this up. This needs to be a quick step to show pass protection, then a sprint out into the flats.

Because he takes so long, when Justin Fields gets ready to throw the ball, Ebner is not ready for it. By the time Ebner puts his hand up, signaling he is ready for the football, the rusher is already all over Justin Fields.

This sack is squarely on Ebner and not being able to get into the flat quickly enough. The play call knows the rusher is coming but is designed to get the ball out before he comes. This took far too long to develop.

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This is unfortunate. Ebner was never the between-the-tackles runner at Baylor, and his impact was supposed to come in the passing game. He has two catches for eight yards this season, and the team failed to set up a simple screen with him. The team would like to continue to trust Ebner, and maybe give him a bigger role next season, but he did not prove anything in his limited chances this season.