What Should We Make of Roshon Johnson’s Performance Against the Packers

Kevin Fishbain at The Athletic answers your questions:

“Did Roschon Johnson put himself in the picture for a larger role? — Guy K.

“The only thing to brighten [head coach Matt] Eberflus’ Monday was an opportunity to discuss Johnson, the rookie running back who led his position in snaps.

“I think he did a good job,” Eberflus said. “He was in there at the very end and he was catching checkdowns and had a couple nice runs, but I certainly like his style. His style was really good, and that’s what he is. He’s a downhill, north guy, and he showed that (Sunday). And he showed his physicality. He did that several times.”

“I was surprised to see that Johnson had already asserted himself as the team’s two-minute back, which he earned in large part because of his abilities in pass protection. That’s often one of the more challenging elements of the college-to-pro transition for backs, but not Johnson.

“On Sunday, the Bears face a Buccaneers team that wants to blitz, and that could lead to Johnson being the lead back. If he excels in those reps, he could certainly continue having a larger role.

“It’s not too big for him,” Getsy said. “He’s a physical guy. You’ve seen the way he runs the ball, too. So he does a nice job.'”

There’s definitely potential there. Johnson was a respectable 5 carries for 20 yards on the ground and 6 receptions for 35 yards in the air. Not great but he did what was expected.

Having said that, all of his touches came in the second half with the Bears 11 or more points down. At that point, the Packers were perfectly happy to see Johnson running the ball and taking short passes. I’m tempted to say that Khalil Herbert could have performed similarly under those circumstances. And I still like what I’ve seen of D’Onta Foreman and his ability is not to be underestimated.

Is there reason to be optimistic about Johnson? You bet. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him as the Bears primary back well before the season ends. Yes, maybe even this weekend.

But the bottom line message for me coming out of Week 1 was that the Bears have three pretty good running backs. ON a team with so many issue, that doesn’t look to me like its one of them.

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