Despite leaving the game against the 49ers for a short time, Herbert saw 23 carries for 72 yards. He also caught both of his targets for -4 yards.
Going forward, one thing is abundantly clear: Herbert is the primary option for the Bears as long as David Montgomery is out. There was some expectation that Damien Williams would cut into Herbert's usage, but a knee injury in the first quarter quickly put that thought to bed. Williams did not return to this contest.
Over the last 4 contests, Herbert has 18 or more carries. The best part is these carries are not game script dependent. It is clear that despite the Bears being up, down or tied, he will see volume.
At a position where volume is king, Herbert is looking like a locked and loaded starter for the vast majority of fantasy teams until Montgomery returns.
Damien Williams was activated from the COVID list on Saturday and suited up vs. the Bucs on Sunday. But he ended up playing just 17% of Chicago’s offensive snaps.
Herbert operated as the workhorse, playing 77% of the snaps, handling 18 of 21 RB carries and garnering 5 targets (15.6% share). And the rookie was excellent against a tough Bucs run defense, ripping off 100 yards on 18 carries. He became just the 2nd RB to run for 100+ yards vs. Tampa since the start of the 2020 campaign. Herbert also caught all 5 of his targets for 33 yards. He finished 8th among RBs in PPR points and 13th in non-PPR on the week.
Herbert has been excellent with David Montgomery sidelined the past 3 weeks, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and ranking 4th among 42 qualifiers in Pro Football Focus’ rushing grades.
Montgomery is eligible to come off IR this week but seems unlikely to be ready for Sunday’s game vs. the 49ers. We might see Damien Williams play a bigger role after getting in a full week of practice -- but Herbert has played too well to relinquish the lead job. Consider him a solid RB2 for Week 8, assuming Montgomery remains out
With Damien Williams out for this game due to COVID, it was Herbert’s opportunity to shine. He saw all 19 of the RB carries, gaining 97 yards and scoring a TD. It could have been a 2-TD game if not for an offensive line penalty.
This rushing performance followed up the Week 6 contest against the Raiders where Herbert gained 75 yards on 18 carries.
The biggest eye opener was the 3 targets Herbert saw in the passing game, with 2 of the targets coming on designed looks. He produced 15 yards on his 2 catches.
Going forward, this backfield is going to be interesting. Both Damien Willaims and Herbert have looked good in their opportunities. This week Chicago takes on the Buccaneers, who have one of the toughest rush defenses in the league. Williams is likely the RB who will see the majority of the passing down work, but Herbert might be too good to keep off the field at this point.
Herbert stood out in this game against the Raiders. He carried it a team high 18 times for 75 yards. In terms of opportunities, he only trailed Damien Williams by 1.
This was an impressive showing for a player who saw just 3 carries the week prior and hadn’t been active the first 3 weeks of the season. The question becomes how much work the rookie will see in games where the Bears are in neutral or negative game scripts. While he saw work through all 4 quarters, his volume seemed to be more rampant in the 2nd half. Williams was banged up heading into this one, and Chicago was leading most of the way.
Going forward, Herbert is an interesting option to stash. He has the talent to gain a primary role but is not someone who will catch passes. As we have learned at RB, passing down work is critical to ceiling performances and reliability week to week. The Bears upcoming schedule is not exactly conducive to massive outputs. Tread lightly with Herbert.