Jordan Howard scored the first touchdown of the Chicago Bears season, taking a hand-off from rookie running back Tarik Cohen out of the wildcat formation and getting a block from quarterback Mike Glennon before diving into the end zone.
However, that dive has helped place Howard on the injury report. Howard wasn’t on the original reveal of Wednesday’s injury report (which you can read about here), but Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic reports the Pro Bowl running back was a late addition because of a shoulder injury.
On Monday, we learned Howard landed awkwardly on his shoulder on that touchdown but it was believed he was OK.
It will be interesting to see how much Howard practices later in the week and if the status of his shoulder improves over the next two days. For what it’s worth, Howard played just 38 snaps – or on just 56.7 percent of the Bears’ offensive plays. As a point of comparison, Howard played on 64.8 percent of the team’s total offensive snaps during his rookie season in 2016.
If the Bears are going to do more than just be competitive with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2, they’ll need all hands on deck. And that includes a healthy Howard ready, willing, and able to carry a full load out of the backfield.
It isn’t clear whether or not Howard’s shoulder injury cut into his playing time on Sunday, but the Bears should consider themselves to be lucky to have an exciting backup such as Tarik Cohen. The fourth-round rookie running back already figured to play a bigger role in the offense, especially after flashing with big plays as a rusher and receiver. But the Bears will probably carefully monitor his playing time because of the role he also plays on special teams as a returner.
A healthy Howard makes for a tough matchup for any defense. But if he can’t give it a go on Sunday, it just adds to the hurdles the Bears must clear as they search for their first win of the season.