By Chris Emma–

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — On Sunday, the NFL will lift its ban on custom cleats and allow players to represent the cause of their choice in the “My Cleats, My Cause” campaign. For rookie Bears running back Jordan Howard, the cause was clear.

Howard will honor his late father by wearing custom cleats to raise awareness for pulmonary fibrosis. Howard’s father, Reginald “Doc” Howard, died when Jordan was 12 years old.

“He definitely inspires me,” Howard said of Doc. “I think about him every day. I know that he’s always there with me. Even though he’s not here in body, I know he’s here spiritually. He always motivates me and this is all we ever talked about.”

Since the seventh grade, Howard has worn the same T-shirt under his pads, a cut-off with his father’s picture, as a tribute.

Recently, Howard spoke with the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation in Chicago.

“I just really told them about my story and how we’re going to keep fighting this disease to try to find a cure,” Howard said.

When Howard takes to Soldier Field on Sunday in Bears navy blue, his light blue shoes will stand out and help raise awareness for pulmonary fibrosis in Doc’s memory.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.