The change came when head coach Matt Nagy turned over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.
Since then, Chicago’s attack became more fluid which gave Justin Fields more confidence.
The increase in run plays was evident when Lazor started calling the shots.
Coincidentally, the Bears have won three games when they executed at least 30 rushing plays.
"When the running game is going like this, we can do a lot of things on offense. Hopefully we can keep that going and keep winning games."
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) October 10, 2021
But while they remained consistent during those wins, their backfield crew underwent massive changes due to injuries.
David Montgomery did not play against the Las Vegas Raiders due to a knee sprain he suffered in Week 4.
The team placed him on injured reserve because he may miss three to five weeks depending on his recovery.
Therefore, he might not play against the Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Yet in a cruel twist of fate, Williams was a limited participant during Week 6 practices due to knee and foot injuries.
*whispers* Khalil Herbert is better than Damien Williams. pic.twitter.com/hUEWc8OWe3
— Bryan Perez (@BryanPerezNFL) October 14, 2021
Meanwhile, Tarik Cohen is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
The Bears running attack will be in deep trouble because of these casualties.
The only healthy running backs they have left are the rookie Herbert and Ryan Nall.
Chicago may also activate Artavis Pierce from the practice squad after giving him a protected designation.
The injuries could not have come at a more unfortunate time.
It seems like the Bears are back to square one just when they were gaining momentum.
Justin Fields Must Step Up
The expectations might be too heavy for the rookie quarterback, but he must take inspiration from Lamar Jackson.
However, Jackson remains the team’s leading rushing despite their additions.
Unfortunately, the injuries to Montgomery and Williams happened within the season, which limits their options.
The #Bears placed RB David Montgomery on IR and activated LB Danny Trevathan. DT Akiem Hicks has been downgraded to out. … As for Montgomery, 3-5 weeks is his window to return.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 9, 2021
All the viable free-agent running backs were already under contract with other teams.
Fields has no choice but to split his time as the quarterback and part-time running back if need be.
He must use his nimble feet to gain yards and extend plays while giving Herbert and Nall opportunities.
The Packers rank 11th in run defense, giving 102.2 yards per game
That’s relatively impressive compared to other NFL teams, but the Bears can still succeed if they pick their spots.
For what it's worth, the #Bears have been super efficient the last two weeks on both sides of the ball.
Outside of garbage time, they had the best offense and the second-best defense in terms of EPA. Even factoring in Week 3, they've been a top-10 offense starting Justin Fields. pic.twitter.com/EVOlIHlWxM
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) October 14, 2021
Chicago’s defense ranks eighth in total yards allowed (332.4 per game) and seventh in points allowed (20 per match).
The Bears are at a disadvantage on offense, particularly in the run game.
But Lazor has a few days left to draw up plays that will maximize their healthy players.
Worst-case, they get dominated by the Packers in this NFC North showdown and fall to 3-3 with 11 games left.
It’s a small price to pay while waiting for their top running backs to return.