Matt Nagy entered the season saying Jordan Howard would be a three-down back. It’s clear, after Sunday, though, that it depends on the opponent.
With 13 carries and seven catches, Tarik Cohen touched the ball nine times more than Howard did in the Bears’ 48-10 win against the Buccaneers.
“I think it’s probably more by game … ” the Bears coach said Monday when asked about his running back usage. “Jordan obviously is more of a run-between-the-tackles guy and he’s really good at it, but yet you can move him out and you can see he can catch the ball and do some good things in space.
“And then when you have Tarik, he can come in and do what he did yesterday. It makes it hard for the defense.”
Cohen ran 13 times for 53 yards and caught seven passes for 121. Howard ran 11 times for 25 yards.
Howard, who has averaged 2.5 yards per carry or less in his last three games, declined an interview request Sunday. On Monday, running backs coach Charles London said Howard was willing to do whatever the team asked.
“I think Jordan just wants to win — whatever it takes to win … ” London said. “He carried the ball 24 times [against the Cardinals]. So it’s really an ebb and flow of how the game goes.
“We thought we had some matchups that worked for us, and they worked for us [Sunday]. It may be Jordan’s game next week. It may be another 25 or so carries then. But [the running backs] just need to understand how it works, and they do understand, and they’re very supportive of each other and the success they have.”