Jeremy Langford was already making a case to be replaced by Howard with his play over the first three weeks of the season. Now a sprained ankle suffered on Sunday night is expected to keep him out for at least the next month, according to ESPN insider Adam Schefter:
Bears expect RB Jeremy Langford to be sidelined 4-6 weeks with sprained ankle, per source. https://t.co/atPptt0dTT
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 26, 2016
That means it’s the time for Jordan Howard to step up and carry a Chicago offense in dire need of a savior.
Howard cannot possibly hope to fix all of the Bears’ offensive problems (he can’t play tackle for one) but he is more than capable of adding some punch that has been missing since Matt Forte was allowed to walk.
Power Rankings: Eagles, Vikings, Ravens on the rise
Fantasy Football: Five sleeper picks for Week 3
Check out Howard’s college highlight reel and you’ll see what we mean.
Jordan Howard college highlights
Coming into the 2016 NFL draft, scouts were high on Howard’s power, explosiveness and ability to create yards after contact. According to Pro Football Focus, Howard led his class with 3.7 yards per rush after contact. All of those attributes appear to have translated to the pro level.
Like all rookie running backs, Howard needs to learn to vary his speeds and wait for his blocks to develop, but those will come in time.
Another concern was his lack of experience in the passing game, but so far he’s shown well there too. In Sunday night’s loss to Dallas Howard averaged five yards per carry. The real surprise is that he caught four passes and took them for another 47 yards.
Chicago has a rich history of powerful, versatile running backs. Jordan Howard has all the tools he needs to be the next one.
Langford going down this early in the season may turn out to be the best thing that’s happened to the Bears so far.