The Bears designated Khalil Herbert, Equanimeous St. Brown and Josh Blackwell to return from injured reserve on Monday. This begins a 21-day practice window for all three players. If the Bears don’t move those players to the active roster within those 21 days, they will need to shut them down for the remainder of the season.
Herbert hurt his ankle in Week 5 against the Commanders and when he went down he was the team’s leading rusher. But while he’s been sidelined D’Onta Foreman has emerged as an effective top back. Foreman carried the ball 60 times for 271 yards and two touchdowns, and added five catches for 35 yards and another score while Herbert was sidelined. Foreman has earned a role in the offense no matter who is healthy, so it will be interesting to see how the Bears deploy both Foreman and Herbert in the offense.
St. Brown was a healthy scratch for the first three games of the season, but took on a bigger role when problems started arising with Chase Claypool. He’s caught one pass this year for 21 yards and has contributed on special teams. When St. Brown is fully healthy, there’s a chance he takes Velus Jones’ spot on the gameday roster, since Jones has continued to struggle on offense and special teams in his second season. St. Brown missed the last four games with a hamstring injury.
Finally, Josh Blackwell has missed the last six games due to a hamstring injury. Blackwell made a name for himself as a rookie last season with standout play on special teams. Blackwell also acted as the team’s backup nickel corner before he got hurt. In the interim, the team has used Greg Stroman as the backup nickel.