The shoulder injury that has bothered Bears running back Jordan Howard all season might have changed the way he runs with the ball for a time. Howard admitted as much Sunday, saying that he returned to his “violent ways” after protecting his shoulder earlier in the season.
Howard — who ran for 147 yards on 23 carries after totaling 44 on 20 in the previous two games — has yet to miss a start because of injury. But coach John Fox was asked Monday whether there’s a fine line between letting Howard play through pain and allowing it to change his style.
“There’s guys that sometimes have to be more 100 percent to play. Jordan’s not one of those guys,” Fox said. “Not that you’re going to re-injure yourself, but it does affect how you practice and obviously how you play the game.”
Fox praised the Bears’ blocking — from the offensive line, fullback and receivers — and praised Howard for finishing strong. He broke four tackles and recorded his 30th rush for 10 yards or more this season.
Fox vs. the North
One of Fox’s most damning statistics has been his struggles against fellow NFC North teams. The Bears are 0-4 against division foes this season after going 3-9 in the previous two seasons.
“We’ve done pretty well in the AFC North,” said Fox, whose team is 3-0 against the other northern division. “But I think it’ll be something that will be high on our priority list because we haven’t defeated a division opponent this season.”
This and that
Inside linebacker Danny Trevathan left with an injury in the fourth quarter but didn’t suffer any significant damage. Fox said Trevathan was cleated in the back.
• Fox said the Bears had particular success playing multiple-tight-end sets in which they blocked Howard’s runs and ran play-action. They played Dion Sims on 64 percent of their snaps, Adam Shaheen on 42 percent and Daniel Brown on 25 percent.
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