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Chicago Bears 2024 Roster Turnover: No new running backs needed

In this 12-part series, we’ll take an in-depth look at each position group for the Chicago Bears with an eye toward the 2024 season. We’ll speculate on who stays, who goes, and some potential additions we’d like to see general manager Ryan Poles make.

Chicago Bears v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

I usually start my offseason Chicago Bears positional breakdown series with the quarterbacks, but I think we can all use a different topic to kick around for a change. I’ll get to the QB spot in a few days, so for now, let’s talk about the running backs!

New Bears offensive coordinator Shane Waldron comes from the Sean McVay coaching tree, so that means he’s running a variation of the Shanahan offense that is so prevalent around the NFL. It’s what former Bears’ OC Luke Getsy kind of ran, so the terminology should be similar, but Waldron’s scheme is more McVay than Getsy’s was.

During his time calling plays with the Seattle Seahawks, Waldron was willing to utilize whatever talent he had on the roster, so while his lead back got most of the touches, he spread the plays around when the talent was there.

Khalil Herbert - Signed through 2024 - If Herbert stays healthy, he has the vision and speed through the hole to thrive in a zone blocking scheme. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry in 2022, and last year, even though he battled through a high ankle sprain, he was at 4.6. He improved in the passing game in ‘23 with a career-high 20 catches and 134 yards.

Roschon Johnson - Signed through 2026 - Johnson is a do-it-all all type of back, and he may take over as Chicago’s RB1 in 2024. As a rookie, he averaged 4.3 yards per carry on his 352 yards, and he was third on the team with 34 receptions.

Travis Homer - Signed through 2024 - Homer was Waldron’s third down back in Seattle in 2021 and 2022, so we could see him used more in 2024. He’s a good receiver out of the backfield and understands pass protection as well, which is why he was trusted with the Seahawks.

D’Onta Foreman - Free agent - Foreman is a capable NFL runner, and he’ll be somewhere in 2024, but probably not in Chicago.

Khari Blasingame - Signed through 2024 - Waldron didn’t use a traditional fullback in Seatle — instead opting for extra tight ends — but he did line them up in the backfield. Don’t assume Blasingame will be off the roster.

2024 OUTLOOK - A year ago, the Bears added Foreman to complement Herbert after losing David Montgomery in free agency, but there should be no starter-worthy free-agent additions this offseason. Herbert and Johnson are a solid 1-2 punch, and Homer is a capable reserve and special teamer.

But with two of their running backs heading into the final year of their contract, don’t be surprised if they draft another at some point. General manager Ryan Poles has drafted a back in each of his two drafts, and even though the Bears didn’t plan on grabbing Johnson in the fourth round in 2023, they had him high enough on their board that they pulled the trigger.

Poles has acquired extra picks through trading down, so if he can maneuver a bit this draft, he may have a tailback he likes on day three.

Our guy Khari Thompson was at the East-West Shrine game practices, and he interviewed a couple of day three running back prospects, UCLA’s Carson Steele and Louisville’s Isaac Guerendo.