The Chicago Bears have three running backs, and all of them have been the lead dog in the rushing attack at one point or another. For the first five weeks of the season, the Bears leaned on Khalil Herbert. After Herbert was injured, the Bears were led by D’onta Foreman.
However, in their week 12 win before the bye week, Roschon Johnson got the majority of the work because Foreman was injured. Still, Herbert was healthy by that point. So, with Foreman getting close to returning, there is a real debate about which back will lead the Bears for the final five games. There are arguments for each.
Pros and Cons to Chicago Bears leading with Khalil Herbert
Khalil Herbert was the first back that the Bears decided to roll with. It may have just been because he was the most familiar with the offense, considering the others were new to the system. Still, he remains the most explosive back by a good bit. His 28.7% breakaway yards rate speaks to how much he is able to add over the top due to his speed.
Herbert has improved in the passing game as well and has been the best in the screen game. He has three catches for 47 yards on screen passes, while Johnson and Foreman combine for 53 yards on nine catches in that area.
The cons to Herbert come down to his health. Since his injury, he has not looked the same. Herbert has 22 rushes for 59 yards in the two games since his return. On the flip side, Roschon Johnson has 16 rushes for 65 yards in that span. It is notable that 16 of those Herbert carries came against Detroit, and he looked so bad that they hardly used him against the Vikings.
Herbert is seeing an overall decline in yards per attempt and success rate compared to last year. One difference could be that he was not seeing nearly as much inside the tackles’ work because he was the change of pace back. The best role for him could be a complementary weapon, and the injury and lack of efficiency could speak to him not being up for this role.