As they prepare for Sunday's home game against the Colts, the Bears are continuing to formulate a plan to replace running back Tarik Cohen.
The fourth-year pro was lost for the remainder of the season last weekend when he sustained a torn right ACL in the fourth quarter of a 30-26 win in Atlanta.
In the Bears' first three games this year, Cohen rushed for 57 yards on 15 carries and caught three passes for 20 yards. That's an average of six touches per contest that will have to be absorbed by his teammates.
The only other two Bears running backs with rushing attempts this season are David Montgomery and Cordarrelle Patterson. Montgomery has gained 191 yards on 42 carries and caught six passes for 64 yards and one touchdown. Patterson has rushed for 57 yards on 15 attempts and caught three passes for 20 yards.
"That'll be our job as coaches to figure out schematically how we want to use them," said coach Matt Nagy. "So far, I'm really proud of Cordarrelle, the way he's handled things of us moving him around and doing different things. And then David I think is only going to continue to keep getting better, and possibly more carries."
Other running backs on the active roster include former Oregon State teammates Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce. Nall has one reception for two yards in limited action this season, while Pierce was promoted from the practice squad this week.
"Losing Tarik, that's one of the best men at what he does," Patterson said. "It's sad to see what happened to him. We've just got to come out and try to take over his role. But it's impossible because Tarik does everything. It's going to be hard to fill his shoes."
Knowing your role: Veteran receiver Ted Ginn Jr. played only 16 of 82 snaps (20 percent) last Sunday against the Falcons, but he produced when called upon.
With the Bears trailing 26-10 in the fourth quarter, Ginn hauled in a 29-yard pass from Nick Foles on fourth-and-six, sustaining a drive that culminated in the first of three Foles touchdown passes in an eventual 30-26 victory.
"I think 'TG' right now is doing a great job understanding his role," said receivers coach Mike Furrey. "When you play in this league for 13 or 14 years and you're taking 40-to-60 reps a game, and then all of a sudden now in Year 14 you've got a rookie that's in front of you and you have to take advantage of the opportunities that you get and your opportunities might not be there, 40, 50 plays, he's been great.
"And to have him make that catch, I think what that does is [it] keeps encouraging him to come and continue to take advantage of your role and do everything he can to help our team. That was a big point in that game."
Pro's pro: Tight ends coach Clancy Barone isn't surprised by veteran Jimmy Graham's early success this season. The 10th-year pro leads the Bears with three touchdown receptions, tied for the most in the NFL among tight ends.
"Jimmy is very intelligent," Barone said. "That's the first thing that stands out. He's very self-motivated. As I have said before, he is a pro's pro; very detailed and that can apply to any player on any team. But he's very detailed and I'm sure will keep getting better at that. But football matters to him. It's the No. 1 driving force in his life. It's really neat to be around guys who are like that where they are just obsessed with being the best at it. If I can help him do that, then that's great for both of us."
Injury update: Special-teams standout Sherrick McManis (hamstring) was the only Bears player who did not practice Thursday. Outside linebacker Khalil Mack (knee) and safety Deon Bush (groin) were limited.
For the Colts, receiver Michael Pittman (calf) was held out of practice and cornerback T.J. Carrie (hamstring) was limited.