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When people hear the name “Khalil” associated with the Chicago Bears, many NFL fans probably think of the six-time Pro Bowl linebacker Khalil Mack. But, there’s a new Khalil in Chicago: running back Khalil Herbert.

After starting Bears running back David Montgomery left the Week 4 game against the Lions with a knee injury, Herbert stepped in to take his place as the lead running back in his rookie season. Montgomery finished his 2020 season with 1,070 rushing yards, which was the sixth most in the NFL. There’s a chance he could be returning to the field for the Bears’ Week 9 “Monday Night Football” game against the Steelers.

MORE: David Montgomery injury update

The Lions game ended up being Herbert’s NFL debut, which he only had seven yards in three carries. A week later against the Raiders in his first official NFL start, Herbert rushed for 75 yards in 18 carries. 

So, how did Herbert get here? Sporting News has everything you need to know about the first-year running back ahead of his primetime debut on “Monday Night Football.”

When did the Bears draft Khalil Herbert?

Herbert was selected by the Bears in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft as the 217th overall pick. He was the first out of three sixth round Bears picks.

MORE: Full list of Bears 2021 NFL Draft Picks

Where did Khalil Herbert go to college?

Herbert spent 2016-2019 as a running back for the University of Kansas. In those four years, he rushed for 1,735 total yards. He also had 14 rushing touchdowns at Kansas. 

For the 2020 season, Herbert transferred to Virginia Tech where he played his best year of college football. In 11 games with Virginia Tech, Herbert rushed a career high of 1,183 yards and scored eight rushing touchdowns. He also had 179 receiving yards with one receiving touchdown, which was the first and only one in his collegiate career.

In his 46 career collegiate games, he rushed for a total of 2,918 yards with 22 rushing touchdowns on 475 carries. Additionally, he caught 34 passes for 297 yards and had one receiving touchdown.

Year School Rushing Attempts Rushing Yards Rushing TDs
2016 Kansas 44 189 3
2017 Kansas 120 663 4
2018 Kansas 113 499 5
2019 Kansas 43 384 2
2020 Virginia Tech 155 1,183 8

Khalil Herbert 2021 NFL stats

Herbert has played in five NFL games this season and started in four of them. The Bears have only won two of those five games he’s played in. 

So far this season, though, Herbert has rushed 351 yards in 81 carries and has scored one rushing touchdown. His 351 rushing yards ranks fifth most out of the running back rookies in the NFL this season. With only five games played, that’s a pretty good spot to land on. Through his four starts, he has rushed 344 yards, which is the fourth most in the NFL this season since then. He lands behind Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor and Damien Harris in the last four weeks.

Herbert’s numbers have helped the Bears rank fourth in terms of most rushing yards by teams this season. Before Montgomery got injured, he had two 100+ rushing yard games. With the addition of Herbert, he didn’t let the Bears’ rushing game fall apart. The only 100 yard rushing game Herbert’s had was against the Buccaneers, and he happened to be the first running back to total 100 yards against the Buccaneers this season. He remains the only player to do so.

Even when Montgomery comes off the injured reserve list, Herbert is expected to remain a key part of the Bears offense. Most likely the two will equally share the field.

Week Game (Result) Rushing Attempts Rushing Yards Rushing TDs
4 Lions (W, 24-14) 3 7 0
5 Raiders (W, 20-9) 18 75 0
6 Packers (L, 24-14) 19 97 1
7 Buccaneers (L, 38-3) 18 100 0
8 49ers (L, 33-22) 23 72 0



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