Chicago Bears may have a surprise at the running back positionJordan Campbellon September 16, 2022 at 5:34 pm

Last Sunday, the Chicago Bears‘ season-opening victory over the San Francisco 49ers was an upset that started to change the narrative surrounding the team.

Entering the game last Sunday, the talk was that the Bears would be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season.

While one game is certainly a small sample size, the Bears’ performance last Sunday seemed to suggest that the team will be a much more competitive team this season than originally expected.

With the forecasted weather conditions for the Bears’ game against the 49ers, the expectation was that running back David Montgomery would solidify the idea that the offense will be run through his legs this season.

Montgomery did manage to be effective in pass protection in the Bears’ victory last Sunday but the fourth-year running back only managed 26 rushing yards on 17 attempts.

Under new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, the Bears have shifted to a zone-running scheme and there were offseason questions as to how Montgomery would fit into the scheme.

Those questions remain after Week 1 and could force the Bears to make a change at the running back position.

Backup running back Khalil Herbert thrived in his playing time in the Bears’ opener. Against the 49ers last Sunday, Herbert rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries.

While the Bears certainly won’t be making a switch at the running back position this week, it certainly is a situation that is worth monitoring.

Khalil Herbert could soon force a big change in the Chicago Bears backfield.

Montgomery is in the final year of his rookie contract with the Bears. Much like the situation with linebacker Roquan Smith, the Bears first want to see how Montgomery fits within the new regime before deciding whether or not to bring the running back after this season.

History is not on Montgomery’s side. The shelf life of a running back in the NFL, outside of the running backs in the elite tier, is not kind to the player.

As such, the wise business decision for NFL teams without a running back in the elite tier is to always let the rookie contract of their current running back play out and then draft their replacement.

The Bears drafted Montgomery’s likely replacement last year in Herbert. Before Herbert can solidify his position as the next starting running back for the Bears, there are areas in his game he will need to address.

Particularly, Herbert needs to be better in pass protection. However, if he continues to be the more effective running back on the field for the Bears, a change in that position is very likely.

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