Matt Forte: Chicago Bears Who Must Step Up After Running Back's Injury

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 14, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 09:  Michael Bush #29 of the Chicago Bears sits on the bench during a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field on August 9, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Broncos defeated the Bears 31-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Matt Forte suffered a high-ankle sprain during the Chicago Bears' Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers and that could leave the running back in doubt for Week 3.

If the Bears were to lose Forte, they would be missing an integral part of their offense. After Jay Cutler struggled mightily during Week 2, it made Forte's presence in this lineup that much more important to Chicago.

The Bears will need some of their players to step up if Forte can't go next week. Here are some candidates on the roster to do just that.


Jay Cutler

It goes without being said that Cutler is important to his team, but if Forte misses the Bears' Week 3 showdown with the St. Louis Rams, he must do even more.

Cutler was abysmal against the Packers. Chicago's quarterback was 11-for-27, totaling 126 yards and only one score. To make matters worse, Cutler threw four interceptions in the game and was abused by Green Bay's defense after being sacked seven times.

Without a shadow of a doubt, if Cutler plays like that next week, the Bears could lose worse than they did in Week 2. Yes, they are playing the Rams, but don't forget that St. Louis intercepted Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford three times.

Maybe Cutler should focus more on preparing for the game in Week 3 and less on talking trash to his opponents. Words never taste good when they are your own.


Michael Bush

Bush was supposed to be the Bears secondary back in 2012, however if Forte's injury persists, Chicago will make him the undisputed starter for the foreseeable future.

As was the story for the rest of the Bears' offense, Bush didn't do much against the Packers. The 28-year-old carried the ball 14 times for 54 yards without a score. Bush's longest run was for a mere eight yards and he averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

Bush has never been known as the type to break big runs, but he can pick up consistent yardage throughout a game. Bush also has a knack for getting into the end zone and had two scores during the Bears Week 1 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

While the football world doesn't expect Bush to break big plays, he can help the Bears rushing attack by increasing his yards per carry and taking some pressure off Cutler. If Bush can't get it done, Cutler will have to throw a ton of passes and history has proven that will never end well for the Bears' signal-caller.


Steve Slaton?

According to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears will workout Steve Slaton as a possible replacement for Forte should he be out an extended period of time.

Slaton has five years of experience in the NFL, most of which took place with the Houston Texans. In his rookie season, Slaton looked like he could be a franchise back after rushing for 1,282 yards and nine touchdowns.

But since then, ineffectiveness and injury have plagued the 26-year-old and has yet to latch onto a team after finishing the 2011 season with the Miami Dolphins.

Chicago could be the place where Slaton gets the chance to revive his once promising career.