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Chalk Talk

Does Howard deserve a promotion?

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Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

With the Bears starting 0-2 and the playoff window getting smaller, shouldn't they bench Jeremy Langford and start Jordan Howard for at least one game? It seems the main problem on offense is getting the running game established.

Michael H.

Bears coach John Fox believes in a backfield-by-committee where he relies on at least two running backs to share the workload, so Jeremy Langford isn't going to get benched in favor of Jordan Howard. And I don't believe the Bears' 0-2 record will have any impact on playing time. I do feel that the Bears want to develop their young players and will give Jordan Howard increased reps as the season progresses, especially if he performs as well as he did last Monday night against the Eagles when he rushed for 22 yards on just three carries. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if the fifth-round pick from Indiana gets more touches Sunday night when the Bears visit the Cowboys. But Langford also remains very much in the team's plans for this season and beyond.

I remember when the Bears signed Connor Barth they talked about how accurate he was inside the 40. When was the last time he missed a short field goal like he did against the Eagles?

Phil M.
Hobart, Indiana

Connor Barth joined the Bears earlier this month having made 63 of 64 field-goal attempts from 20-39 yards over the previous five seasons. His only miss from that distance during that span came when he played for the Buccaneers on Nov. 4, 2012 and his 35-yard try against the Raiders was blocked, ironically, by current Bears teammate Lamarr Houston.

I know the team has struggled, but give me something positive: Who has been the best Bears player through the first two games of the season?

Rick L.
Farmington Hills, Michigan

I'd have to go with Eddie Royal, who has shown absolutely no rust after missing the entire preseason and most of training camp while recovering from a concussion he sustained in practice. Royal has excelled on offense and special teams, catching a 19-yard touchdown pass and returning a punt 31 yards in the opener against the Texans and returning a punt 65 yards for a TD and turning a screen into a 31-yard game versus the Eagles. Here's hoping Royal can stay healthy throughout the season and continue to contribute like he has in the first two games.

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