With running back Michael Bush being placed on Injured Reserve, the Bears lose a terrific short-yardage back and goal-line back (along with just a very solid back in general). We saw how significant Bush's absence was in week 15 against the Packers, as running back Matt Forte was stuffed twice on carries at the Packers' one-yard line. Give Bush a couple of such chances, and he's almost always going to punch it in for six.
So, the Bears will need to figure out a way to convert short-yardage situations and goal-line situations without Bush for the remainder of the season. And that's not Matt Forte's, well... forte. He's a damn good running back, but has always struggled in short-yardage situations. It's why Chester Taylor got goal-line carries a few years ago. It's why Marion Barber got goal-line carries last year. And it's a big part of why the Bears signed Bush in the offseason.
Additionally, second-year running back Armando Allen is best-suited for the game of your prototypical "third-down back". Third and long draws, catch the ball out of the backfield, etc.
So what about Kahlil Bell, who just signed back with the Bears to take Bush's roster spot, as the short-yardage/goal-line back? It sounds like the 6'0", 219-pound back may get the chance to show he can be that guy on Sunday against the Cardinals in Arizona:
"That will be a decision that Tim Spencer and I will talk about (Thursday) when we put short yardage and goal line in - not trying to be avoiding your question - but (Thursday), when we put that in, we'll look at the plays that we're going to run and if Kahlil is in that role and he's better suited for that role," Tice said. "But that's certainly a possibility."Source: ESPN Chicago
Jeff Dickerson adds in that ESPN Chicago article, "Although Bell has been known to fumble, he does have the reputation of being an aggressive runner who always displayed a knack for finding the end zone in live goal-line training camp drills."
Might as well see what Bell can do in the role.
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