Jordan Howard’s health has been in question since he popped up on the injury report after hurting his shoulder scoring the Bears’ first touchdown of the season.
But the Bears are a team seemingly always overdue for positive news on the injury front. So, to that end, I present to you positive news:
Jordan Howard on extra time off "It did wonders for my shoulder. I feel a lot better. In a few weeks I’ll be good to go with no pain at all"
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) October 6, 2017
Howard has been playing through the injury since the team’s Week 2 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and has done so with inconsistent results.
For example, he couldn’t quite get it going in loss against the Buccaneers, where he gained just seven yards on nine carries. And things weren’t much better two weeks later in the loss to the Green Bay Packers (Howard was held to 53 yards on 18 carries and a lowly 2.9 yards per carry).
Still, Howard flashed against the Pittsburgh Steelers as he put together his finest game of the year, averaging 6.1 yards per carry, with 140 yards on the ground, and a Bears walk off, overtime winning TD. It’s no coincidence the Bears offense looked at its best when Howard was running productively while getting the ball early and often. Sure, he’ll have to share some time with breakout rookie Tarik Cohen, but it’s worth it to keep Howard fresh – especially if Cohen continues to provide a spark as a rusher and receiver (FWIW: ESPN thinks highly of the Howard-Cohen combo, ranking the duo among its top five rushing tandems).
The Bears offense will go only as far as the running game carries it. And if Howard is feeling good that’s a huge step in the right direction.