Matt Forte knee injury complicates contract negotiations

Bears running back Matt Forte suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings and he could miss some time.

Forte’s absence was immediately felt as backup rookie running back Jeremy Langford could not fill the rather large shoes Forte left behind. Langford doesn’t run with the same vision and patience that Forte does, and he’s certainly not near the same caliber receiver that Forte is.

That was no more evident than on the Bears’ final drive of the game on Sunday.

The Bears defense had just painfully given away the lead to the Vikings on the previous possession, but the Bears offense had the ball and an opportunity to make a third game-winning (or tying) fourth quarter drive this season.

On third down, Jay Cutler scrambled out of the way of the Vikings’ pass rush and found a wide open Langford for a potential first down. All the rookie had to do was secure the catch and the chains would keep moving and the drive would continue.

But he did not. He took his eyes off the ball and lost concentration and the Bears had to punt away the football. The Vikings scored on the next drive to win the game.

I have no doubts that Forte would have secured that catch and probably even picked up a huge chunk of yards after the catch.

Forte obviously is out of a contract after this year and the big question is whether or not the Bears give big money to an aging, yet still effective running back.

One thing for sure is that Forte’s asking price surely went up with each Langford misstep.

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