With Khalil Herbert's return looming, Bears have a decision to make in recalibrating workload in their backfield


LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) The Bears boast the NFL’s fifth-ranked rushing offense despite not having a headlining performer.

Veteran running back D’Onta Foreman leads the Bears with 367 rushing yards, which ranks 34th in the NFL. Khalil Herbert, the team’s second-leading rusher with 272 yards, is expected to be activated from injured reserve soon and return against the Lions on Sunday after missing the previous five games with a high ankle sprain. Rookie running back Roschon Johnson has also factored into the backfield mix with 167 rushing yards on 4.4 yards per carry.

With Herbert's return looming, the Bears will have a decision to make in how to recalibrate the workload in their backfield.

"That's a fortunate position to be in, to be able to have a few guys that can go do that and kind of display our play style,” Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said.

“We're excited to get him back on the field. And exactly how much or (what) that looks like, I think we've got to figure that out."

The Bears led the NFL with 3,012 rushing yards in 2023, when they were led by quarterback Justin Fields’ 1,143 yards on the ground. David Montgomery was the team’s leading running back with 201 carries for 801 yards. He signed a three-year deal with the Lions in March and will face off against his former team Sunday.

Herbert entered this season as the Bears’ lead back. When everyone was healthy early on, Herbert and Johnson carried the load while Foreman was a healthy scratch in four games.

After Herbert and Johnson (concussion) were both lost in Chicago's win at Washington on Oct. 5, Foreman was called upon as the Bears’ top back and has consistently produced in that role.

With all three running backs now healthy, the Bears must decide whom to rely on to carry the primary workload.

Injury report
Fields (right thumb) was a full participant in practice Thursday, marking two straight clean days of work ahead of his anticipated return Sunday.

Right guard Nate Davis (ankle) also worked in full, as did Herbert (ankle/shin) for the first time since his injury. Foreman (ankle) was limited in his work while linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (knee) didn't practice.

The Bears will reveal game statuses after practice Friday afternoon.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

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