When the Chicago Bears take the field for their pivotal Monday night matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, star running back Matt Forte may or may not be out there with them. It is a risky proposition, and one that fantasy owners can't afford to risk.
According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, Forte is listed as questionable for the game but was able to work with the team late in the week.
Forte participated in the Bears' workout Saturday after being limited in practice the previous three days. The Pro Bowl tailback sat out last week after he sprained his ankle in the third quarter of a Week 2 loss at Green Bay.
The progress Forte has made is nothing less than encouraging, but we are still talking about a running back who has had to take it easy for the better part of two weeks because he is dealing with an ankle injury.
Certain injuries have to make fantasy owners tread cautiously. For a quarterback, anything involving the arm or shoulder is a concern. For running backs and wide receivers, the legs are the key to everything they do.
In order to be successful as a running back, you have to be able to cut back and forth at a moment's notice in order to hit the hole that will close on a dime.
Based on what we know, or don't know, about Forte at this juncture, it is impossible to expect him to jump right back in the fray and be the player who had 120 yards of offense against Indianapolis in Week 1.
If Forte does make it into the lineup, the Cowboys could be the right defense for him to matchup against. They boast a lot of talent up front, particularly with DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, but they specialize in rushing the passer.
The Cowboys are not a difficult team to run the ball against. Through three games this season, they are giving up 113 yards on the ground.
There is temptation to start Forte because of what he can do, obviously. But the nature of ankle injuries makes me very skeptical about his upside in this game. Plus, if the Bears get the ball into the red zone, they are more likely to go with the bigger, stronger Michael Bush to get the touchdown.
Give Forte another week on the bench before turning him loose against a dreadful Jacksonville defense.