Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard may not win the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award, but that did not stop him from doing something that no other Bears rookie has been able to do.
With his performance against the Minnesota Vikings, Howard broke the franchise’s rookie rushing record, which was set by Matt Forte back in the 2008 season. Howard did it with a 17-yard run in the second quarter of the game, and the performance vaulted into him an elite place on a franchise that has had some incredible running backs.
Howard came into the game needing 61 yards to achieve the new milestone, and that’s exactly what he did with his long run. The rush gave him 1254 yards on the season, and cemented his status in Bears history.
During his 2008 rookie season, Forte racked up 1238 rushing yards and eight touchdowns for the Bears as the Tulane product seized the starter’s role with the team. He also had 63 catches for 477 yards in that rookie season, establishing his status as a tremendous dual threat out of the backfield.
Howard isn’t as much of a pass catcher as Forte, only catching 29 passes for 298 yards going into Sunday’s game against the Vikings, but there is no question that he is the primary back of the future for this team. With his bruising running style, Howard has the physicality to take advantage of the Bears’ excellent offensive guards, and he also has the speed to cut runs out to the outside of the field as well, making him a versatile weapon.
Unfortunately for Howard, odds are that he will not outduel Dallas Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott as the league’s top rookie, as Elliott has helped lead the Cowboys to the best record in the NFC.