As the Bears head into week three of training camp, there have been a number of standouts on the practice field so far, especially from the rookie class. And with the Bears first preseason game on Thursday at Solider Field against the Broncos, fans will get to see the revamped Bears for the first time this season.
But one thing that continues to be a sore thumb at camp is Jeremy Langford’s absence.
Langford, Bears fourth round pick in 2015, has been out with an ankle injury since the second day of camp. Coach John Fox told the media on July 28th that the third year veteran suffered a sprained ankle in a walk through practice the night before.
For someone who did no impress last season and lost the starting job to rookie Jordan Howard early in the 2016 campaign, Langford’s absence from the practice field is hurting his chances of making the roster. In a crowded backfield with Howard, rookie Tarik Cohen, Benny Cunningham, and newly signed Joshua Rounds, Langford is not only losing reps but a shot to compete.
In his rookie season, Langford rushed for 537 yards and six touchdowns. He also racked up 279 receiving yards. He was a nice compliment to Matt Forte and looked like the arrow was pointing up for the Michigan St. product. Bu after a below average year two, his future with the team remains in question.
There were signs this offseason that Bears may be planning for football without Langford, signing Benny Cunningham in the offseason and drafting Cohen. While Cunningham may have more of a returner role, he could earn some sort of role out of the backfield. And Cohen, who has had a impressive camp so far, should see a lot of third down snaps in passing situations.
I was a big believer in Langford seeing more a role last season. He’s a speedy back with pass catching ability out of the backfield. No one really knew what Howard would amount to his rookie year, so Langford was supposed to be the main man. But then Howard burst onto the scene and Langford failed to make an impact in the backup role.
It is still unclear and Fox has not offered a timetable for Langford’s return to action. Everyday he remains out, it hurts his chance of making the team. Especially with preseason games starting up this week, he will be getting a lot of playing time if he comes back. In the end, Langford controls his own fate.