Matt Forte Injury: Jay Cutler and Bears Will Flounder Without Star RB

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IISeptember 20, 2012

Sept 13, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA;   Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) is stopped by Green Bay Packers defenders during the first quarter at Lambeau Field.  Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Forte’s injury may not be as serious as originally thought, but the Chicago Bears will struggle as he recovers from an ankle injury he sustained against the Green Bay Packers.

Originally, Forte’s injury was thought to be of the high-ankle sprain variety. That has since been refuted by Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Smith said Forte is “making progress” in his recovery on Wednesday (h/t Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com).

Michael Bush is a respectable replacement in his own right but he simply doesn’t add the same dimension to the Bears’ offense that Forte does. If the Bears can get the ball into the red zone, Bush has the ability to move piles and finish drives. The problem is getting the team into position without the dynamic run-and-catch ability Forte brings to their offense.

Jay Cutler must also recover from a four interception performance that has caused a rash of negativity about the embattled quarterback in the media. It isn’t just Cutler’s poor play that has everyone riled up, though.

Cutler shouldered offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb and yelled an obscenity at him on the sideline during the team’s terrible performance against the Packers last Thursday night.

Before the matchup, Cutler highlighted the importance of having Forte in the lineup against the Packers pass rush (h/t Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com):

Up front I think the guys know that there’s some pressure on them because Matt Forte can run if we give him holes. If I get the guys the ball on the outside and we hold up enough time we can make some good plays. So it’s gonna be fun to watch.

Without that added pressure on the St. Louis Rams defense, they’ll be able to pin back their ears and get after Cutler. The Rams aren’t world class pass-rushers and don’t have a dominant defense, but they did enough to contain Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in the second half of their surprise Week 2 victory.

Moving forward, Forte is going to return and hopefully will be at 100 percent by the time the team’s schedule begins to get tougher. However, in the meantime, things may continue to get worse before they get better for the Bears’ offense.

The Bears will meet the Rams without the luxury of Forte’s services.

Steven Jackson of the Rams has also missed practice and is questionable with a groin injury. But who’s injury affects their team more: Jackson's or Forte's?

Will the Bears win without Forte against St. Louis?

 

Mike Hoag is a Trends and Traffic writer for Bleacher Report and also covers the Cleveland Browns and the NFL for the site.

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