Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte was knocked out of last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings with an ankle injury.
He was fortunate to avoid a serious injury and has already returned to practice.
Is he safe to use this week?
Ordinarily, I would say plug Forte in without any hesitation, but there is some cause for concern here.
Forte is facing the Seattle Seahawks and their 12th-ranked run defense. They are giving up just 108.6 yards per game.
They have allowed seven rushing touchdowns, but that plays more into Michael Bush’s favor.
Bush has five touchdowns on the year to Forte’s three, including a pair in last week’s win over the Vikings. He is one of the most capable backup running backs in the league, so it would make complete sense to let Bush share the load and put a cap on Forte’s touches.
After all, the Bears have the big picture to worry about.
They enter Week 13 at 8-3—a game ahead of the Green Bay Packers—and with the third-best record in the NFC.
Bush is not as dynamic as Forte, but he may be better suited for the physical matchup with Seattle.
Forte missed some time earlier in the year. In his first game back, he had 13 carries against the Dallas Cowboys, while Bush had 10 carries in that game as well.
I would not be stunned if a similar distribution was in play.
Bush has had double-digit touches in six games this year, and in those games, Bush has five touchdowns.
He hasn’t scored in the rest of the games, so Bush is a shaky flex play.
Forte is a safer play as long as he doesn’t have any setbacks. He can be used as a RB2, but he is better suited for a flex role this week.
Start him with caution.
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