What happened to the Chicago Bears running game?

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Before Justin Fields returned from his injury, it looked like the Chicago Bears rushing attack was better than it had ever been. D’onta Foreman was coming off of back-to-back 80-yard rushing games, they were healthy, and the offensive line was starting to get into form. 

The Chicago Bears running backs are too banged up

However, since Fields returned, the rushing offense has not been as in sync. Fields has led the Bears in three of the four games, and no Chicago Bears running backs have gone over 50 yards. The Bears had Roschon Johnson lead the group with 36 yards last week against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are elite against the run, especially at home, but the run game has been bad.

While Fields has been healthy, some of the issues have been injuries. D’Onta Foreman got hurt early into the first game that Fields came back for. Khalil Herbert had been hurt before that, and the week 11 game against the Detroit Lions was his return to the field. 

Foreman missed one week but has played the last two. Still, it is clear that neither Herbert nor Foreman have been the same since their injuries. 

Foreman has 17 carries for 44 yards, while Herbert has 31 rushes for 75 yards. The Bears were giving Foreman 18 snaps and 11 rushes in his first game back and then reducing that to eight snaps and six attempts, and Herbert going from 20 snaps and 16 attempts in his return to 19 snaps and 15 attempts in three games since shows how they feel about these two. 

Both of them are healthy enough to be active, but neither is healthy enough to be where they were before their injuries. This has put more on Roschon Johnson's plate. 

Johnson had 33% of the snaps, but in the last four weeks, he has been up to 47%. That includes week 12, where he played 75%, and week 15, where he played 53%. A lot of this is because he plays long downs and distances and obvious pass downs. He also has slowly become the goal line back. 

He is great in those areas, but he has not been able to show that he can be the consistent back in between the tackles. Johnson had four rushes for 14 yards, aside from a 22-yard rush late in the two-minute drill when the defense was playing far back.

So, the explanation can be as simple as Herbert and Foreman are not the same backs due to injury and the rookie Johnson is not ready to handle more of the workload. The three-man committee, with all three having issues, may continue this week.