With injuries at running back, this could be big week for Chicago Bears’ D’Onta Foreman

Khalil Herbert remains sidelined by ankle injury

Chicago Bears running back D'Onta Foreman gets loose before their preseason game against the Tennessee Titans Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

LAKE FOREST – Bears running back D’Onta Foreman could be about to have his moment this weekend.

Running backs Khalil Herbert (ankle), Roschon Johnson (concussion) and Travis Homer (hamstring) all sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday because of injuries. They have one more chance to practice Friday, but it’s not looking good for the majority of the Bears’ running back room.

Herbert could miss multiple weeks, per reports, because of the ankle injury he sustained last week against Washington. Herbert’s leg crumpled awkwardly underneath him as he attempted to make a catch. He left the game for a while, briefly attempted to come back, then exited the game for good. Johnson and Homer also suffered their injuries during the Washington game.

If those three are in doubt for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, that could leave a big opportunity for Foreman.

The Bears signed Foreman to a one-year contract worth up to $2 million during free agency in March. They also allowed former running back David Montgomery to walk away in free agency. Montgomery later signed with the Detroit Lions.

General manager Ryan Poles later selected Johnson out of Texas with a fourth-round draft pick. The Bears went into the season with Herbert, Foreman and Johnson as a three-headed monster at running back. Foreman had five carries for 16 yards, plus two catches for eight yards in the season opener. After Week 1, however, the Bears decided that there were too many mouths to feed.

Foreman spent the next four games inactive, a healthy scratch each week. He said Thursday at Halas Hall that his lack of a spot on special teams was why Johnson and Homer remained active ahead of him. So Foreman was forced to watch from the sidelines.

“Whatever my role is, I’ll excel in the role,” Foreman said Thursday at Halas Hall. “I think I’ve been in my role thus far, and I had to take it day by day. And when I say excel in it, just try to take advantage of my opportunities in practice and just do what I had to do to be a supportive teammate.”

Foreman has overcome plenty of adversity during his football career. He has gone through significant injuries, personal heartbreak, and at one point he was “kind of over” football. But all of that led him to a breakout opportunity last year with the Carolina Panthers. After Carolina traded star back Christian McCaffrey, Foreman became the lead back and went on to total 914 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

Now, he has another chance in front of him. When Herbert, Johnson and Homer all suffered injuries in last week’s win over Washington, the Bears were forced to use fullback Khari Blasingame as their running back. At that point, however, the game was mostly in hand.

I’ve been in this situation a lot in my life. This is not my first rodeo. This is not my first go-round. I’ve been thrown in the fire plenty of times and I’ve excelled. So I’m taking the same approach, and I don’t expect anything different.”

—  D'Onta Foreman, Bears running back

“I’ve been in this situation a lot in my life,” Foreman said. “This is not my first rodeo. This is not my first go-round. I’ve been thrown in the fire plenty of times and I’ve excelled. So I’m taking the same approach, and I don’t expect anything different.”

The Bears are coming off their two best rushing performances of the season. They totaled 171 rushing yards in Week 4 vs. Denver and 178 last week vs. Washington. Herbert ran for 103 yards against Denver and 76 last week before injuring his ankle. The offensive line is finally close to full health and it shows.

Foreman showed last season that he can excel behind a good offensive line. The Bears might need him to do just that Sunday.

“There’s a ton to like,” offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said of Foreman. “His play style. His downhill running. His violent, explosive gains. So we’re excited to see what he can put out there this week.”

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.