In a make-or-break game, Jordan Howard had a historic night
Jordan Howard was at a crossroads.
The former Indiana tailback was coming off two straight games with less than 35 yards rushing. Ka’Deem Carey was starting to cut into Howard’s workload and Jeremy Langford was set to return from injury on Monday night against the Vikings.
Heading into the primetime showdown, Howard was in need of a bounce back game to keep his hold on the starting running back job.
And boy, did he get it.
Against one of the league’s stingiest defenses, Howard went off. The rookie ran for 153 yards on 26 carries and caught four passes for 49 yards. By night’s end, the fifth-round pick was in the Bears’ record books:
Have a game, rook. pic.twitter.com/E6JD8w1BjB
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 1, 2016
On top of that, Howard was the youngest Bears player to ever rack up 200 yards from scrimmage in a game.
He looked like the guy who earned first-team All-B1G honors in one limited season in the B1G.
Thanks to his fast start, Howard out-touched Carey and Langford 30-3. He impressed his quarterback, too.
“You can see how much he’s grown,” quarterback Jay Cutler said of Howard. “He’s like a four- or five-year vet back there. He doesn’t get phased. He’s got great vision and that’s kind of come along in these last six or seven games.
“He seems more comfortable back there and he’s one of those backs, as the game goes on, he gets stronger and stronger.”
That’s a good vote of confidence for a guy many didn’t think would see much action in his first season in John Fox’s system. Instead, Howard is now up to 505 yards rushing on just 99 carries. That’s second to Ezekiel Elliott — who leads the entire NFL in rushing — among rookie running backs.
The Bears have a bye week before they travel to take on the Giants, but Howard appears to have earned the lion’s share of the carries in Chicago.