Friday’s news of running back Kevin Jones’ season-ending ankle injury was disturbing news, about as unsettling to hear as the injury was to see in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Browns.
What’s even more disconcerting is what might become of the Bears’ ground game this season if starter Matt Forte were to go down with an injury, and how much more risk Forte faces without a dependable backup spelling him throughout games this season.
The Bears like Garrett Wolfe and will try to get his hands on the ball as much as the flow of the game will allow, and Adrian Peterson’s constant motor and compact running style are great late in the game against a tired defense.
But realistically, neither of these guys is the complement the Bears need to give Forte a breather more often this year than last and still be able to sustain the offensive momentum.
With Saturday’s 5 p.m. deadline for trimming rosters to 53 players looming, more veteran running backs will be without jobs and it would serve the Bears well to explore all options. Dominic Rhodes, who played for the Colts against the Bears in Super Bowl XLI, and was just released by the Bills, would be one such option.
Speaking of the 2006-07 Super Bowl, it’s by no surprise that the last time the Bears had a reliable 1-2 punch in the backfield was during that season when Cedric Benson came in to give Thomas Jones a rest and wound up punishing defenses in the second quarter and late in games.
Finding a guy that can fill that role would not only be beneficial, but crucial to the Bears’ success this season and beyond.