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Bears' Jeremy Langford checks off boxes in big night

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With Matt Forte on the sidelines with a knee injury, the door opened for Jeremy Langford. The rookie burst through.

While he didn't technically start -- coach John Fox electing to give Ka'Deem Carey the veteran's start -- he carried the load for the Bears with 18 totes for 72 yards and one touchdown while adding three receptions for 70 yards as Chicago won in San Diego, 22-19.

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"He's dual-purpose," Fox said, via CSN Chicago. "He can catch. The catch he made on the 'go' route -- wide receivers have a tough time on that catch. He's explosive. He can take short runs into longer runs. I thought he had a great night."

There were many questions about Langford entering Monday night. Could he handle a heavier workload? Could he pick up a blitz? Is he a threat in the passing game?

The rookie checked all the boxes, seeing 54 of 73 snaps in prime time as he outplayed first-round pick Melvin Gordon.

Langford said after the game it was a moment he'd been planning for.

"All my life," he said. "Monday Night Football ... I'm truly blessed to be in this situation and the coaches trusting me."

Langford, who played receiver when he first enrolled at Michigan State, had a costly drop in Week 8 that led directly to a Bears loss. The drop brought about queries this week as to whether he could fill Forte's role in the pass game. The rookie said he wanted to prove he could overcome last week's adversity.

"That was my whole point, to make up for that last game," Langford said. "You want to forget about those plays and have the coaches trust me and have (Jay) Cutler trust in me, and he did."

With Forte hitting the open market this offseason, Langford's performance could allow the Bears' brass to let the underrated veteran walk in free agency -- using that money on defense instead -- confident they have a young runner to lean on.

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