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RB Jordan Howard - Chicago Bears

6-0, 230Born: 11-2-1994College: IndianaDrafted: Round 5

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Photo: Mike Dinovo, US Presswire

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News you need to know

General News (Thu Feb 1): is excited about the Bears' new coaching staff and believes the offense will be more creative under new head coach Matt Nagy.

Week 21: bye week

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 at MIN 36 9 9 0 1 1 5 0 0 1.4

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 17 vs MIN (9 / 9 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

Howard had the same number of rushing yards as carries, which is never a good thing. All nine yards he gained came the one time the team gave him consecutive carries. They were in a third-and-1 and gave the ball to the fullback, who was stuffed. Howard didn't touch the ball on consecutive plays again on the afternoon.

2017 Week 16 vs CLE (22 / 44 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Jordan Howard had both a good and bad day in the 20-3 win over the Cleveland Browns. Howard carried the ball 22 times for 44 yards and two touchdowns. There you have it, the bad and the good. Cleveland's rush defense, while it had been struggling in the few weeks leading up to Sunday, looked pretty tough. Howard's runs, mostly, went up the middle (between the tackles), which hasn't been successful this season. Howard's longer runs come when his very injured offensive line moves the defense as he runs toward the edge. This very rarely was the case Sunday, aside from Howard's second touchdown run -- his longest run of the day, 16 yards. Aside from that 16-yard run, Howard only gained 28 yards on 21 carries. Ouch.

2017 Week 15 vs DET (10 / 37 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 26 / 0 rec)

Howard never got in a groove as the Bears offense had a lot of trouble sustaining drives in this loss. He had a few good gains called back by penalty and did set up the Bears on a first and goal with a strong run from the 24-yard-line. He was involved enough as a receiver to salvage something in PPR leagues, but his performance was a far cry from his Week 14 game and his strong game in Week 11 against the Lions.

2017 Week 14 vs CIN (23 / 147 / 2 rush, 2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

Jordan Howard took a verbal beating in his Week 13 recap. Apologies to Jordan, because he definitely did not seem disinterested in Sunday's 33-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Howard bounced back to find the end zone twice on his way to 147 yards on 23 carries. He still, however, cannot catch a pass. Like, it's borderline comical to see his hands act like a backboard whenever a pass is thrown his way. PPR really doesn't apply to Howard, FYI. Anyway, back to Sunday ... Howard got back to running inside after a few weeks that consisted of a steady dose of stretch plays in a clear attempt by the coaching staff to cater to an injury depleted interior offensive line. Howard runs best inside, not outside. Another factor that aided Howard on Sunday was game script. The Bears took the lead early in the second quarter and never looked back.

2017 Week 13 vs SF (13 / 38 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / -5 / 0 rec)

Jordan Howard maybe needs to be shut down for the season, who knows. The second-year running back looks entirely disinterested on the football field, and perhaps that has something to do with his recent struggles and the team's season-long struggles. Howard carried the ball 13 times for 38 yards in Sunday's 15-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Howard, in the past two games, only has gained 44 yards on 20 carries. This guy is supposed to be your bell-cow back. The Bears weren't even trailing San Francisco much during the game, so you'd think the offensive play calling would have been geared to put Howard in the best possible positions to gain chunks of yards, yet it seemed like nearly every run of his went up the middle or maybe between the guard and tackle. Obviously, Howard is not benefited by a healthy offensive line. The best line player and run blocker, Kyle Long, has myriad injuries and might not even play another snap this season, so it appears as if the Bears run game only will get worse before this season ends.

2017 Week 12 vs PHI (7 / 6 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)

The Bears seemed to think Howard was the answer for the Eagles defense on the road, even though they have one of the best run defenses in the league. He touched the ball eight times on the first five drives, which represented a huge workload in this sputtering offense. He failed to convert a third and two and also failed to get a first down on a series that consisted of Howard having his number called on all three plays. He failed to get positive gains on his carries during the opening drive of the second half and wasn't used for the remainder of the game.

2017 Week 11 vs DET (15 / 125 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Howard was back in a committee backfield with Tarik Cohen in Week 11, but was more productive for it. He had a 50-yard run on a play that benefitted from a pass fake that froze the defense. He had easy significant gains on many carries, including a red zone carry that was a walk in score. Late in the game, Howard was fresh and his four straight carries for good gains fueled the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter.

2017 Week 10 vs GB (15 / 54 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Not much going on here. Jordan Howard looked ... overmatched? Green Bay stacked the box with as many bodies it could in Sunday's 23-16 win over Howard and the Bears. The running back gained 54 yards on 15 carries. Howard found himself running into the backs of his offensive lineman more than he ran anywhere else. The game looked to be shaping up to get Howard 30-plus carries, but the game script changed and the Bears were forced to throw more. The snap-count numbers tell the story: Howard 29 snaps, Benny Cunningham 28 snaps, Tarik Cohen 13 snaps. Howard, we think, is a great NFL running back. However, his lack of consistency tells us a different story. Howard has been running behind a weak and injured offensive line, no doubt. An argument can be made, though, that a running back of Howard's caliber needs to be able to break free from some of the contact he takes in the backfield to turn negative runs into positive runs, even if it's taking a two-yard loss and making it a two-yard gain. Third and long with a rookie quarterback at the helm is not an optimal thing to have happen on a consistent basis. Bottom Line: Howard needs to be better if he wants to be considered in the conversation with the league's best.

2017 Week 8 vs NO (23 / 102 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 19 / 0 rec)

Jordan Howard continues to be the lone bright spot for this troubled Chicago Bears offense. Howard rushed for 104 yards on 23 carries in Sunday's 20-12 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The highlight of Howard's day came on a 50-yard scamper on a play that started from the Bears' 3-yard line. It was later on this drive when Mitchell Trubisky hit Zach Miller in the end zone for what should have been a 25-yard touchdown, but the call was overturned after review for reasons unknown to anyone. Howard now has seen 20+ touches in five of the last six games, but he's failed to see the end zone in the four games that Trubisky has started. You'd think a more conservative approach on offense with a rookie quarterback would lead to more end zone-finding opportunities for the team's bell-cow running back.

2017 Week 7 vs CAR (21 / 65 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Jordan Howard carried the ball 21 times for 65 yards in the 17-3 over the Carolina Panthers. Thanks for two early defensive touchdowns that helped the Bears jump out to a 14-0 lead, the offensive game plan changed and Howard was called upon to run, run, run. Howard didn't find much success on the ground as the Panthers favored the run on nearly every non-3rd down snap. The Bears coaching staff didn't at all hide their desire to run the ball, which led to a number of bruising hits on Howard -- one of the NFL's leaders in yards gained after contact. Next week Howard faces a New Orleans Saints defense that was gashed Sunday by Aaron Jones and the Green Bay Packers. Given the Bears don't get down early, Howard figures to be a massive player in the success or failure of this offense.

2017 Week 6 vs BAL (36 / 167 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)

The Jordan Howard redemption tour continued Sunday as the second-year back dominated the Ravens' defense in the Bears 27-24 overtime win. Howard carried the ball 36 times for a career-high 167 yards in the unexpected road win. Howard's best run came in overtime, when he took a Trubisky handoff 53 yards, shaking multiple Ravens defenders on his way to putting the Bears in field goal position to win the game. Howard started the season battling a shoulder injury, but that no longer appears to be an issue as he gained 113 of his 167 after contact. It's the most for a Bears running back in a single game since the 2009 season. Howard once again appears to be one of the most elite backs in the league. His resurgence comes at a great time for this Bears offense. If Howard can continue similar-in-nature output for the remainder of the season, he will provide rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the much-needed offensive balance he needs to ease himself into an NFL offense.

2017 Week 5 vs MIN (19 / 76 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Jordan Howard clearly isn't he back he played like last season, his rookie season, when he was putting up elite-level numbers. Battling a shoulder injury, Howard put forth an average-at-best performance, rushing for 76 yards on 19 carries -- 4.0 yards per carry. With Tarik Cohen's impact diminishing over the past week or two, Howard has regained the number of touches that an elite back requires. For a while there, the first three weeks of the season, the coaching staff clearly was trying to jam Cohen into the game plan as much as possible, much to the chagrin of Howard. Howard led the running back carries 19-6, and the running back snaps by a large margin. Howard should have totaled a much higher number of yards (around 35+) against the Vikings had Marcus Wheaton not been called for a holding penalty that nine out of 10 times isn't a penalty. As long as Howard's shoulder injury doesn't get worse throughout the season, there's no reason to think he can't still be a top-10 running back in this league, especially now that the Bears appear to have a more competent quarterback under center in Mitchell Trubisky.

2017 Week 4 vs GB (18 / 53 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)

Jordan Howard found the end zone in Thursday night's 35-14 loss to the Green Back Packers. That's about all Howard did well against the Packers as you clearly can tell that his injured shoulder is hampering his ability to break tackles and take hits. Howard gained 53 yards on 18 carries -- 2.9 yards per carry -- and caught two passes for 10 yards with another dropped pass. The Bears need Howard to be the running back he showed to be last season, when he was putting up numbers similar to Ezekiel Elliott. What's stopping that from happening is the team's lack of offensive ability aside from running the football. Because the Mike Glennon-led Bears don't know how to throw the ball downfield, teams have been stacking the box against the Mike Glennon-led Bears, and Howard simply does not look healthy enough to be taking contact behind or at the line of scrimmage. Who knows, though. Howard has been up and down through four games playing with the injury. He still has the big-game potential, the Bears simply need to open up the offense so Howard doesn't have to work so hard to get his yards.

2017 Week 3 vs PIT (23 / 138 / 2 rush, 5 / 5 / 26 / 0 rec)

"Be weary of Howard until you're given a reason to think he's healthy enough to be impactful" is what I wrote last week when signing off this section. Well, it didn't take long for Howard to be impactful. Howard dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday by the count of 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. The second-year running back carried the Bears to a 23-17 victory in overtime. Just as encouraging to see is Howard's role in the passing game. Battling dropped passes all season, Howard caught 5-of-5 targets for 26 yards. Despite a shoulder injury, Howard put forth his best effort of the season. Howard is the lynchpin of the Bears' offense. As long as he's healthy, the coaching staff is going to make him the focus of the offense. Keep an eye on that shoulder injury, though, as Howard was escorted off the field after re-injuring the shoulder on two separate occasions.

2017 Week 2 vs TB (9 / 7 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Something is up with Jordan Howard. The Bears' featured back might as well have not even been on the field in Sunday's 29-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Howard only gained seven yards on nine carries. Following the game, Howard was spotted leaving the stadium with a sling over his shoulder. In the week leading up to Week 2, Howard was not listed on the Wednesday injury report the Bears sent out that day after practice. Shortly after that report went out, the Bears revised the report to include Howard and his shoulder injury. Howard then was limited in practice all week, listed as questionable to play against Tampa. What makes this a strange situation is ... ESPNChicago's Jeff Dickerson reported Monday that Howard skipped out on speaking to the media following the loss to Tampa. Howard "avoided making eye contact" with media members, Dickerson said. This comes after Howard dodged out on the media after the Week 1 loss as well; nor did Howard speak at all last week. This isn't normal behavior for a player only one or two weeks into a season. Perhaps Howard isn't happy with his distribution of carries with Tarik Cohen now in the fold. Perhaps Howard's shoulder injury is more serious than we know and he doesn't want to acknowledge it publicly. Something is up with Howard. Coming off his monster rookie season, the kind of effort and result we've seen two weeks in lends for concerns. Be weary of Howard until you're given a reason to think he's healthy enough to be impactful.

2017 Week 1 vs ATL (13 / 52 / 1 rush, 5 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)

Jordan Howard likely wants to forget the events of Sunday. On the wrong end of the 23-17 loss, Howard failed to convert on multiple opportunities that would have pushed the game in the Bears' favor. Howard finished the game with 53 yards on 13 carries and 14 yards on three catches. Howard dropped two passes, one of which would have tied the game under the two minute mark. Glennon found Howard mostly open near the far left pylon. All Howard needed to do was catch the ball and fall backwards into the end zone. Pass catching seemingly has been Howard's bugaboo since he entered the league one season ago. Howard dropped seven passes on 50 targets as a rookie, and he needed to improve upon that mark now or else Tarik Cohen will take a stronghold on the passing downs. Howard's value will hold for now, but he clearly is going to be pushed by the youngster Cohen.


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