Jordan Howard finished Sunday’s game with 13 carries for 52 yards and the Bears’ only rushing touchdown but will be remembered for the play he didn’t make in a 23-17 season-opening loss.
With 12 seconds left and the Bears down by six, he dropped a pass at the left pylon. Quarterback Mike Glennon said Howard, who had offseason eye surgery to improve his pass-catching, could have caught it and leaned back into the end zone despite Falcons cornerback Robert Alford hitting him.
Coach John Fox said Howard, who did not speak to media after the game, was “banged around a little bit” Sunday.
Howard added three catches for 14 yards and scored on a trick play. With 20 seconds left in the first half, Glennon split out wide and Tarik Cohen took a shotgun snap. He handed the ball to Howard, who ran to the right — behind his newest, tallest receiver’s block — for a four-yard touchdown.
“Next thing I know, the ball is bouncing out to me and I just tried to find a guy [to block],” Glennon said. “Surprisingly, I was able to help the play out.”