The Chicago Bears’ top-ranked rushing offense will be without a primary cog for at least four games after running back Khalil Herbert was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
Herbert left Sunday’s 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field with a hip injury. Coach Matt Eberflus declined to share any injury details Monday, but the move indicates the team is bracing to be without the second-year running back for a good chunk of the final seven games.
Herbert is 11th in the NFL with 643 rushing yards, five spots behind quarterback Justin Fields (749). Herbert ranks second in the league among running backs averaging 5.95 yards per carry.
Fortunately, the Bears still have David Montgomery, who has 434 yards (3.8 average) and rookie Trestan Ebner. Despite Herbert’s success, Montgomery has been on the field significantly more with 57.2% of the snaps compared to Herbert’s 37.4%.
Herbert was injured on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter against Detroit. Herbert had a career-high 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Week 3 win over the Houston Texans.
The Bears lead the league in rushing averaging 201.7 yards per game — more than 31 yards better than the second-ranked Baltimore Ravens. The Bears have rushed for 237 or more yards in each of the last five games.
The team also placed defensive end Kingsley Jonathan on waivers and claimed cornerback Justin Layne off waivers from the New York Giants. Layne, a 2019 third-round pick from Michigan State, appeared in seven games for the Giants with only 11 snaps on defense. He was primarily involved on their special teams unit.
Layne did not make any starts in three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers but appeared in 43 games and totaled 41 tackles. He played against the Bears earlier this season in Week 4 and was called for holding on a punt return.
The Bears are thin at cornerback right now with injuries to Kindle Vildor (ankle) and Jaylon Johnson (oblique).
The Bears roster stands at 52 after the moves.