Chicago Bears: Matt Forte Can Be a Major Key to Victory on Sunday

Gabe SalgadoCorrespondent IIIDecember 26, 2012

Matt Forte has injured his ankle twice during the 2012 season.
Matt Forte has injured his ankle twice during the 2012 season.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In my previous article, I stated that the running game is key to a Bears victory on Sunday. 

While I still believe that is the case, it will be a difficult task to accomplish without Matt Forte.

The Bears' starting running back suffered an ankle injury in the second half of last week's game against Arizona.

He tried to return to the field in the third quarter but the Bears medical staff thought it would be wise to keep him out.

Forte has yet to participate in practice this week and is listed as "questionable" for Sunday's regular season finale.

Should he not be able to play, it will be up to Armando Allen and Kahlil Bell to carry the load against the Lions as Michael Bush is out for the season.

The aforementioned Allen and Bell are more than capable of contributing to the Bears offense. But they don't bring what Forte brings to the table.

Matt Forte is hard runner who uses a combination of speed and power when healthy. He is also a solid runner when the offensive line creates running lanes.

Forte can also be a dangerous receiver out of the backfield, and has shown his ability to assist in pass protection.

Allen and Bell are speed backs who also contribute on special teams. The two of them have only combined for three catches for 27 yards, while Forte is the Bears' second-leading receiver.

They are also highly dependent on open field space and can't always take on defenders like Forte and Michael Bush can.

There is no way to replace the contributions that Matt Forte brings to the offense. If the Bears are going to win on Sunday they need to have him in uniform and on the field.

Let us all pray that he is healthy enough to go this week.