Bears running back Khalil Herbert is headed to injured reserve after hurting his hip during Sunday’s loss to the Lions.
His loss is a blow to the league’s best rushing attack. He averaged 6 yards per carry, which is tied with the Cowboys’ Tony Pollard for the most by any healthy running back in the NFL.
Players who go to IR must miss at least four weeks.
Herbert has run 108 times for 643 yards this season while sharing backfield duties with David Montgomery. Montgomery, who is in the final year of his contract, has run 115 times for 434 yards, an average of only 3.8 yards per carry.
The Bears could turn to Trestan Ebner to help take Herbert’s place. The rookie from Baylor has run 18 times for 46 yards and, like Herbert, has returned kicks for the Bears.
Herbert appeared to hurt his hip when he returned the final kickoff of the game up the right hash with 2:17 to play. He fell to the ground as he was hit by Lions safety C.J. Moore and struggled to stand back up.
Herbert has been one of the breakout stars of the Bears’ offense. In only his second season, he joins quarterback Justin Fields, tight end Cole Kmet and receivers Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool as offensive building blocks for a rebuilding team.
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus was mum Monday when asked about Herbert, saying that the team wouldn’t address anyone’s injury status until the league-mandated injury report was due Wednesday.
The Bears claimed cornerback Justin Layne on Tuesday. A former third-round pick of the Steelers, Layne primarily played on special teams for the Giants this season — his 11 defensive downs all came in one game. Still, he could help give the Bears some coverage at cornerback; Kindle Vildor missed Sunday’s game and most of the previous one because of an ankle injury. Standout Jaylon Johnson was hampered for most of Sunday’s loss by an oblique injury.
The Bears also waived defensive end Kingsley Jonathan, who appeared in four games for them this season.