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Write Now Blog

Ford could get expanded playing time

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 14, 2013 – 10:42 am

With backup running backs Armando Allen (hamstring) and Harvey Unga (rib) sidelined by injuries, undrafted rookie Michael Ford could get expanded playing time in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Chargers.

“It’s an opportunity because guys went down, so I’ve got to step up and play that role,” Ford said. “But you never know. Matt [Forte] might get more touches, [Michael] Bush might get more touches. I’ve just got to stay ready.”

Ford joined the Bears after playing in 37 career games with five starts at LSU, scoring 14 touchdowns (13 rushing and one receiving). Last season the 5-10, 216-pounder ranked second in the SEC in kickoff returns, averaging 27.5 yards on 20 returns. Ford, who entered the draft following his junior season, had four kickoff returns of 40 yards or longer, including an 86-yarder that set up a TD against Arkansas.

In last Friday night’s preseason opener against the Panthers, Ford rushed for 15 yards on six carries including a four-yard touchdown, caught three passes for 35 yards and returned one kickoff for 25 yards.

To supplant Allen as the third running back behind Forte and Bush, Ford will have to prove he can contribute on special teams, something he did at LSU.

“It’s not an adjustment,” Ford said. “I did that in college. Coming out here, the only adjustment is picking up all the little details and getting them right and getting the fundamentals down.”

Asked what he hopes to show coaches Thursday night against the Chargers, Ford said: “That I have the focus I can play on this level, I can block, I can catch, and just do the things that I need to do to play.”


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