Michael Bush took Forte’s spot in the starting lineup against St. Louis (18 rushes, 55 yards, one TD), but he too is reportedly dealing with an injury of his own (according to the Chicago Tribune’s Vaughn McClure).
Bush wouldn’t confirm the reported injury when he was approached during practice.
With Forte as likely doubtful and Bush likely questionable for the big Monday night matchup against Dallas, who will carry the load?
Bell started the last three games of the 2011 season against three pretty good run defenses in Seattle, Green Bay and Minnesota. He ran the ball 49 times for 215 yards for an average of 71.7 yards per game and also reeled in 14 passes for 90 yards.
He had 10 carries a week ago against St. Louis, but only gained 20 yards on the ground. He broke off a run of 18 yards and reeled in a pass for 11 yards, but other than that, he looked out of shape.
Allen has only had two carries so far, but he showed he had plenty of potential in Week 16 last season, racking up 48 yards on 15 carries in the two games he appeared in.
With Forte out of the game and Bush maybe playing at 50 percent, Bears fans have every right to be worried.
The Dallas Cowboys rank first in the league in yards allowed per game (250.0) through the first three weeks. However, they rank 19th in rushing yards per game (113.0), which includes a 4.0 yards per carry average.
Dallas has faced Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG), Marshawn Lynch (SEA) and Doug Martin (TB), all very talented running backs so far this season.
Kahlil Bell showed last season that he can carry the load. He has similar size and speed to Forte, but he has problems holding onto the ball and doesn’t block quite as well. Expect to see plenty of TE Kyle Adams in the backfield filling in at the H-back role for the injured Evan Rodriguez (sprained MCL, h/tChicago Tribune).
Armando Allen hasn’t shown much this season, but with solid run-blocking, he could break off a few long runs.
A combo of Bell and Allen in the backfield is certainly a downgrade from a combo of Forte and Bush, but the Bears can get it done.
It will certainly make it a bigger challenge if Bush is indeed out, but Bell has proven he belongs in this league and in this Bears offense.
Now is the time for Kahlil Bell to step up whether Bush suits up or not.
Check back for injury updates on Matt Forte and Michael Bush.