The Chicago Bears were starting to establish a nice timeshare between their running backs. So, of course, once anything starts to look good, we had to see a shakeup. The injury to Khalil Herbert has the team back to figuring things out for the next four weeks.
The question was whether or not the team would stick with a timeshare, or if they go back to riding one back. Trestan Ebner is stepping in for Herbert, so it depends on their trust in him.
Chicago Bears ride David Montgomery, do not trust Trestan Ebner
So far, they are back to the one-man show. The Chicago Bears went from a 60/40 type of split to 80/20 in favor of David Montgomery.
Montgomery had 80% of the snaps, and 50% of the rushing work, while Ebner was at 22% of the snaps and 17% of the rushing work.
In the two games that Ebner stepped in for the injured David Montgomery, he had 24% snaps in both games with 19 and 23% of the rushing work. So, he is living in that range.
Beyond that, the team used Ebner in long down and distance plays about 14% of the time, which is right on par with his usage in weeks three and four. While the team trusted David Montgomery more as a pass rusher, they like to get Ebner involved in the passing game.
He ran a route on 18% of the snaps in this game. He was at 22% and 23% with Herbert, but that is likely because Montgomery is such a better pass protector that they did not want him off of the field.
Beyond that, the team tried to draw up a screen for Ebner, but he was so late to come into his route that he forced Justin Fields to take a sack. So, not only was Montgomery helping more in pass protection, he was not hurting in any way, either.
When you look at the performance of Ebner this week it is hard to make the case that we have another Khalil Herbert on our hands. He is unlikely to eat into the time of Montgomery, and the usage that Montgomery got to start the season should be more similar to his future role than the work he was getting in the past four games.