There wasn’t much to love about the Chicago Bears being whipped by the rival Green Bay Packers in front of most of the country. But when looking closer, rookie running back Roschon Johnson proved to be a bright spot.
Johnson did it all — he was an effective runner, pass catcher and solid in pass protection. He had five carries for 20 yards and a touchdown, as well as a team-high six receptions for 35 yards. Johnson was the fifth highest-graded player on the Bears, according to Pro Football Focus, earning a 71.5.Buy Bears Tickets
When the game got out of hand in the second half, Johnson continued to fight and made some highlight plays, including a tough 11-yard run where Johnson ran through Packers safety Rudy Ford for a first down.
Yesterday was brutal for #DaBears offense.
However, we saw some guys willing to compete all day.
This is how you get downhill and run the football in a rivalry game.
Roschon Johnson is THAT GUY! pic.twitter.com/iEMvyQlMPa
— Tim Jenkins (@TJenkinsElite) September 11, 2023
“Yeah I think he did a good job,” said head coach Matt Eberflus, via The Athletic. “… He was in there at the very end and he was catching checkdowns and had a couple nice runs, but I certainly like his style. His style was really good, and that’s what he is. He’s a downhill, north(-south) guy, and he showed that yesterday. And he showed his physicality. He did that several times.”
The Bears deployed their running back committee consisting of Johnson, Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman. Johnson proved to be the most complete of the three, and he also happened to see the most reps with 29 (Herbert saw 27, Foreman had 21).
It feels like only a matter of time that Johnson will emerge as the lead back, and his Week 1 performance (and usage) proved just that.