It looks like Matt Forte's injured ankle will not keep him out of the Bears' Monday night game, and that is a very good thing for Chicago. They are going to need him to move the ball against the Dallas Cowboys.
More on that in a second, but first, here is an update on his playing status.
NFL Insider Jay Glazer shared this news.
Sources tell me barring a freak setback Matt Forte is healthy and set to play tonight. He's telling teammates he will be active, good to go!— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 1, 2012
Chicago is going to need to get a strong ground game going in this one to keep the Cowboys pass rush at bay.
The Bears have allowed an average of 3.7 sacks per game—that is the second-worst number in the NFL, and Dallas can rush the passer. The Cowboys are sixth in the league with an 8.1 sack percentage.
Bears left tackle J'Marcus Webb has struggled mightily this season—just ask Jay Cutler. He was a huge reason why Clay Matthews destroyed Cutler for 3.5 sacks in Week 2, and Webb is going to face a similar challenge going against sack-master DeMarcus Ware.
While the Bears can, and likely will, give Webb help on the outside, the best way to slow the pass rush down will be for them to consistently pump out positive runs.
Running the ball against the Cowboys is not an overly difficult task. They are 17th in rushing yards allowed, and they have given up those yards at four yards per carry.
Forte should be able to make that number even larger. He has looked great when healthy, and he has gained 111 yards at 4.8 yards per carry. He also has seven catches for 89 yards. His receiving skills will also be valuable in this one.
Cutler is going to need the safety blanket of a running back for quick dump offs when the pressure gets quickly on him.
Backup running back Michael Bush is a very competent back, but in this game, the Bears need their rushing attack at full strength. They need Forte to hit for some big plays to keep the Cowboys from pinning their ears back and teeing off on Jay Cutler.