(CBS) Bears reserve running back Kahlil Bell may have sparkled Saturday night with 73 yards on 13 rushes and 48 yards on two catches, but his true value still lies on special teams.
And that might be his ticket to making the 53-man roster.
Unless the Bears plan on carrying four running backs, Marion Barber, Chester Taylor and Kahlil Bell won’t all make the team. One of the them will be out of luck.
Based on money-owed and career numbers, Bell would seem like the odd man out, but not if you listen to Bears special teams coach Dave Toub.
“[Bell is] very valuable,” Toub said Monday. “We consider him a four-phase starter. That third running back has to be that guy. We can’t have a third running back that’s sitting on the bench not playing special teams. It’s valuable. We showed that the last few years with Garrett (Wolfe) so that’s the role that we need that player to be.”
Neither Barber nor Taylor are known as special teams contributors and early returns from training camp indicate Barber has the edge over Taylor. Despite being listed second on the depth chart, Taylor only received three carries Saturday and only gained three yards. Barber received seven carries and picked up 45 yards, almost single-handedly leading the Bears down the field on their only touchdown drive of the game.
At least right now, it appears a battle between Taylor and Bell has emerged for the last running back spot and based on Toub’s comments Monday, it certainly appears Bell has the early edge to make the team.