John Fox: Bears have confidence in Langford, Carey

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Chicago Bears' recent decision to cut ties with Matt Forte wasn't due simply to the likelihood that the veteran running back is entering the twilight years of a successful football career.

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday, coach John Fox insisted that Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey have "earned" the opportunity for bigger roles this season.

Every game, all season

"Obviously we felt good," Fox explained. "... We made decisions last week that we were able to make because we have great confidence in our young backs. What that workload is or what that definition of their role is will be up to them and how they perform and how they prepare and what they put on the field when we start work."

A wide receiver when he first arrived at Michigan State, Langford flashed dual-threat talent as the featured back when Forte went down with an MCL sprain in November.

Although it's natural to assume Langford will pick up the bulk of Forte's workload, Fox appreciates Carey's physicality.

"The way he carries his pads," Fox said of Carey. "We're here and sometimes a lot gets put into height, weight, speed, 40, and a lot of times it's hard to measure what's behind that left nipple and between your ears. I think he's a guy that after contact is pretty special. ... I enjoy watching him run."

Accounting for 32.0 percent of the Bears' offense, Forte was enjoying an excellent season prior to his knee injury. It will be interesting to see if Langford and Carey can mimic that success by combining for one-third of Chicago's offensive output in 2016.