5 things to watch for in Chicago Bears Pre-season Opener

Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

Who will establish themselves in the running backs roster battle?

David Montgomery left in the offseason for free-agent riches in Detroit. The Chicago Bears released their first unofficial depth chart and Khalil Herbert is listed as the starter.

Herbert gained 731 yards on 129 carries and scored four touchdowns last season. His play was one of the reasons it was easy for the Chicago Bears to let Montgomery walk in the offseason.

He needs to get better at pass blocking and catching passes out of the backfield if he hopes to hold off Foreman for the starting job.

Foreman rushed for 914 yards and five touchdowns last season with the Carolina Panthers. A majority of those yards came after the Panthers traded away Christian McCaffrey. Even more impressive was the Panthers had poor quarterback play, so every defense knew Foreman was getting the ball and he still produced.

Foreman and Herbert will probably not get a lot of carries, but there are three back vying for the last two spots in the backfield.

This will be the first chance to see what fourth-round draft pick Roschon Johnson can do in the NFL.

He has missed time in training camp with an undisclosed injury. Poles was very high on him when he drafted Johnson. Johnson did not have a lot of wear and tear as he backed up Bijan Robinson in Texas. Johnson has a unique set of skills for a running back that he could use to push Foreman and Herbert for the starting job by the end of the season.

Tresten Ebner was thought to be the odd man out after Poles signed Travis Homer in the offseason. Ebner is having a solid camp that might be good enough to keep him on the roster.

Both are fighting for the final running back spot. Those two need to have an impressive showing on Saturday not just on offense, but on special teams as well.