Matt Forte To Present Challenge In Run Game
The Bears’ starting running back is one of the first players the Redskins will face at the position who is also a threat to catch passes out of the backfield.
BY ZAC BOYER
ASHBURN – Reggie Bush sat out the entire game against the Redskins because of a knee injury. Darren McFadden, DeMarco Murray and Eddie Lacy also left their respective games against the Redskins with a variety of injuries.
“Can we get Forte to leave early?” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said Thursday, laughing.
Matt Forte, the Chicago Bears’ top running back, enters Sunday’s game against the Redskins ranked seventh in the league with 442 rushing yards.
Though he hasn’t crossed the 100-yard threshold in a game this season, Forte has done so 15 times in his career. He moved into third place all-time on the Bears’ franchise rushing list when he gained 55 yards against the Saints on Oct. 6, with his 5,769 yards behind Walter Payton (16,726 yards) and Neal Anderson (6,166 yards).
The Redskins allowed 184 yards to Eagles starter LeSean McCoy in the season opener and 132 yards to Packers backup James Starks in the second game. Since then, they’ve allowed an average of 52 yards to running backs over the last three games.
Forte presents a different challenge in that he’s one of the only running backs the Redskins will have faced who’s also a weapon catching passes out of the backfield. This season, he’s caught 33 passes – the second-most on the team – for 244 yards.
“He’s good coming out of the backfield as far as receiving,” said inside linebacker Perry Riley, who faced Forte and Tulane while at LSU. “He’s a good running back as well, but they use him a lot in routes, getting him the ball out of the backfield. He’s a great receiving back.”
His shiftiness, and his burst, are what makes him a lethal runner, Riley said.
“You definitely have to pay attention to him,” Riley said. “They’ll sneak him out. He’ll start blocking. You know, you see on film, some backers kind of lose sight of him. He’ll sneak out and you know, go for a touchdown. You definitely have to keep your eyes on him and know where he is at all times.”