Khalil Herbert

Chicago Bears 53-man roster and depth chart prediction: Running Backs

The Chicago Bears will kick off training camp in less than one month, and the daily battle for roster spots and starting jobs comes with it.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll break down each position group and predict which players will make the final roster and what the 2023 depth chart should look like.

We already reviewed quarterbacks. Now, it’s time for running backs.

RB1: Khalil Herbert

RB1: Khalil Herbert

Khalil Herbert will get the first crack at the Chicago Bears’ lead back duties, and if the 2022 season was any indication, he’ll be a tough player to unseat.

Herbert was one of the most efficient running backs in the NFL in 2022. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry and appeared on his way to leapfrogging David Montgomery as the Bears’ starting running back until a hip injury sidelined him for several weeks.

Herbert set career highs last season with 129 carries for 731 yards and four touchdowns.

Competition to be the featured back will be fierce in Chicago, and we could see a different leading rusher every week. But expect Herbert to be the running back the Bears trust most on early downs.

RB2: D'Onta Foreman

RB2: D'Onta Foreman

As good as Khalil Herbert was in 2022, D’Onta Foreman may have been better.

Foreman became the lead back in Carolina after the Panthers traded Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, and he responded with the best season of his five-year career. Foreman finished 2022 with 914 yards and five touchdowns.

Foreman entered the NFL as a third-round pick with an extremely high ceiling in 2017, but injuries have prevented him from becoming the kind of back he was at the University of Texas when he ran for over 2,000 yards and 15 scores in 2016.

Now 27 years old, Foreman is no longer the type of player a team can build its long-term running game around. But there’s no doubt he can challenge to be the best between-the-tackles runner the Chicago Bears have had in quite some time.

RB3: Roschon Johnson

RB3: Roschon Johnson

Every Chicago Bears fan’s favorite running back is Roschon Johnson, the rookie fourth-round pick who has more buzz around him than quite possibly any Day-3 pick ever has.

Johnson is a well-built power runner with enough speed to rip off chunk gains but isn’t quite athletic enough to consistently threaten third-level defenders. He’ll be an asset in pass protection, an area of weakness for both Herbert and Foreman. As a result, he has a good chance to get on the field early in his pro career.

Whether Johnson is dynamic enough to become a focal point of an NFL rushing attack remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt Bears coaches like his physical and mental makeup. He’ll get more than a fair number of chances this summer to prove he belongs in the RB1 conversation.

RB4: Travis Homer

RB4: Travis Homer

Don’t sleep on Travis Homer. No, he won’t be a threat to unseat the running backs ahead of him for carries, but he brings high-level special teams ability to the roster. It’s a critical trait for guys who want those final roster spots.

The Chicago Bears didn’t sign Homer as a charity case. They like what he brings to their special teams unit, and he’s flashed as a quality runner and receiver during his limited opportunities in Seattle.

Homer will make this team.

Outside looking in: Trestan Ebner

Outside looking in: Trestan Ebner

Trestan Ebner was active for most of the 2022 season, but with more competition and talent added to the running back room this offseason, it’s unlikely he’ll crack the final roster. Instead, he’s a good practice squad candidate the Chicago Bears can activate in case of injury or his own development.


53-man Roster: Chicago Bears carry 4 running backs

53-man Roster: Chicago Bears carry 4 running backs

The Chicago Bears carried three running backs for most of the 2022 season, but the addition of Homer should kick that number north to four.

The Bears don’t want Justin Fields to carry the ball as much as he did last season when he nearly broke the single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback. As a result, they’re going to keep their running backs fresh. Chicago’s running back by committee will be in full force in 2023.

Total number of running backs on the 53-man roster: 4

Active roster count: 6 (2 QB, 4 RB)

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