Getty Darrynton Evans of the Chicago Bears.
The Chicago Bears are waiving running back Darrynton Evans, the team announced on November 16th.
With starter Khalil Herbert set to return from an ankle injury, this move is expected. The Bears’ roster now stands at 52 players, and once activated, Herbert will complete the 53-man roster.
The Bears re-signed Evans to the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad on October 9 after Herbert and rookie RB Roschon Johnson suffered injuries. Evans was a third-round pick by the Tennessee Titans out of Appalachian State in 2020 and also spent his 2022 season with Chicago. He was on the practice squad for the first 10 games last year before being activated.
Evans, 25, played six games for the Bears last year and five this year (no starts). In 2022, he ran for 64 yards on 14 carries. His role increased this season as he rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries while also catching seven passes for 49 yards.
The emergence of RB D’Onta Foreman was a huge success for Bears
Bears running back D’Onta Foreman currently ranks second in the NFL in rushing yards after contact since Week 6.
🔹 Tonight: 55 of 73 yards after contact
🔹 Since Week 6: 266 (2nd in NFL)
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– Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 10, 2023
While Evans was a solid contributor for the Bears despite all the injuries in the running backs room, the team relied heavily on the free agent acquisition of D’Onta Foreman, and he delivered.
Foreman, who was a healthy backup in Weeks 2-5, has been a solid and consistent offensive contributor since his appointment in Week 6. So far this season, the 1.80 meter tall, 110 kilogram running back has completed 86 runs for 367 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He also has nine receptions for 55 yards and a receiving TD.
Last offseason, the Bears signed Foreman to a one-year, $2 million contract with just under $1 million guaranteed. He has more than proven that he belongs in the starting eleven. While Darrynton Evans may have been expendable, Foreman is not. If he doesn’t re-sign with the Bears next year, he will certainly have a market based on his production in limited opportunities.
The Bears are not naming an RB1 at this time
According to PFF, the #Bears currently have two of the ten highest-rated RBs in the league.
Khalil Herbert is in 6th place with 79.3 and D’Onta Foreman is in 9th place with 74.7. I’m happy to see that the duo is healthy and playing together in the future. pic.twitter.com/KQ1SAorJ18
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) November 9, 2023
Herbert has missed Chicago’s last five games and now that he’s back, the Bears have two of the league’s most underrated playmakers in their backcourt.
“I think it’s a fortunate situation to have some guys that can do that and show our style of play, and so we’re excited about that opportunity,” Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said of the team’s RBs performance.
“Khalil played really well. That’s why we’re happy to have him back on the field. And exactly what much or all of it looks like, I think we have to find out again. Who is completely healthy, who can go and how much can you still go if you haven’t played for a few weeks?”
It will be interesting to see how the team splits the carries between Foreman and Herbert.
“I think D’Onta did a great job,” Getsy added. “He got involved in all that stuff, right? We love the downhill style he played with and the physicality he played with.”
So far this season, Foreman has recorded 10 explosive runs of 10 or more yards per PFF. Herbert, who is averaging 5.3 yards per carry this season, has six explosive runs. If both stay healthy, the duo will be exciting to watch over the final seven games.