Chicago Bears Rookie Watch: Week 5 Edition

Darnell Wright, Chicago Bears
Darnell Wright, Chicago Bears / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
4 of 4
Chicago Bears, Roschon Johnson
Chicago Bears, Roschon Johnson / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Chicago Bears Rookie Watch, Roschon Johnson, RB

Khalil Herbert ran like a man possessed against the Commanders, but he's going to miss multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain. This is now Roschon Johnson's backfield, but the rookie must first clear the concussion protocol after taking a hard hit to the head at the end of a 10-yard run late in the first quarter.

Having 10 days between games could give Johnson a better-than-normal chance of returning this week, and the Bears could really use him against the Vikings. Minnesota has been good against the run in all but one game this year when De'Andre Swift torched them for 175 yards in Week 2.

Roschon Johnson was knocked out early against Washington, but he's primed for a bigger role

Johnson and Swift profile as comparable backs with similar skill sets, so the Bears could have a big day on the ground if their rookie back sees the field, especially now that Teven Jenkins is back to pave the way.

Chicago is already averaging nearly five yards per carry on the year, so while it's easy to want to lean on Justin Fields to do it all, the running game needs to share the stage against the Vikings.

Johnson gives the Bears a unique element in the passing game, too, due to his ability to catch the ball and help protect Justin Fields. These next few games will serve as his on-the-job interview to be the man going forward, and I think he'll seize the opportunity.


For the first time in a long time, there's reason for optimism in Halas Hall. The Bears are in the win column, and a winnable division game is next on tap. As the rookies keep improving, so will the team. Through the season's first month, they're already in a good place.