Matt Forte Injury: Why Chicago Bears Won't Miss a Beat with Michael Bush

Pete SchauerCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2012

Sep 13, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA;  Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush (29) rushes with the football during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The injury suffered by Chicago Bears franchise running back Matt Forte could open up a temporary starting job in the backfield for Michael Bush.

According to Michael Fabiano of, Forte is believed to have a high ankle sprain, which makes offseason free-agent acquisition Michael Bush all the more important.

Bad news on Matt Forte. Report says the Bears think he has a high ankle sprain. Michael Bush's value is on the rise.

— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) September 14, 2012

Bush is no stranger to the starting role, as despite serving as the backup to Darren McFadden as an Oakland Raider from 2008 to 2011, Bush had his fair share of starts due to McFadden injuries.

McFadden, who was the NFL's leading rusher during the first six weeks of the season, missed the final nine games in 2011 with a Lisfranc injury, which allowed Bush to really put his talent on display.

Bush's impressive 2011 campaign is what most likely prompted the Bears to acquire the 28-year-old. He rushed for a career-high 977 yards in the absence of McFadden, also scoring seven touchdowns on the ground and one in the passing game.

The extent of Forte's injury is still unknown, but if he's going to miss a considerable amount of time, there's no reason for the Bears to panic (other than the fact that quarterback Jay Cutler looked awful on Thursday).

Bush is a solid blocker in the passing game and has one of the best speed and power combinations in the NFL.

On a night when Chicago couldn't get anything going offensively, Bush took over as the No. 1 back and accumulated 54 yards on the ground.

He's a reliable runner, evident by the fact that he's fumbled just three times in 658 touches and has never fumbled twice in a season.

Bush has tremendous upside and could be the starter on a handful of NFL teams.

There's no doubt he's ready to step in for Forte, if need be, as the Chicago Tribune quotes Bush as saying, "That's why I'm here: They brought me here to pick up where (Forte) left off, if something went wrong. It's the insurance plan, I guess. I'll be ready."

If Bush does get the start in Week 3, he'll have a favorable matchup against the St. Louis Rams, who allowed Detroit Lions RB Kevin Smith 62 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries in Week 1.

It's not the backfield that Bears fans should be worried about.

It's Jay Cutler.


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