Bears potent rushing with or without Forte

But he probably won't get a lot more snaps, if any.

The receivers playing the most, by far, are Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Marshall has played all but six snaps; the rookie 58 percent of them.

After not being used much against the Colts (20 snaps), Earl Bennett doubled his count against the Packers.

Numbers games: Whither Ditka?

Last year, the Bears ranked last in the NFL in tight end catches with 25, 144 behind the the league-leading Patriots, according to STATS.

They also ranked last in tight end receiving yards with 256, 1,981 fewer than the Patriots.

The perception has been that with the switch from one former tight end (Mike Martz) to another (Mike Tice) at offensive coordinator, the tight ends would become much more involved in the passing game.

Kellen Davis has been talked up as if he were Kellen Winslow Sr. But so far, the tight ends might as well be wearing boxing gloves.

They have three catches, which, once again, ranks last in the NFL. The Patriots' tight ends have 18.

The Bears have 42 receiving yards from their tight ends, which is 2 more than the Dolphins, who rank last. The Eagles lead the league with 257.

Front office chess: Replacement runners

When it became apparent the Bears likely would be without Forte for some time, the front office scheduled workouts with former Texans third-round pick Steve Slaton and former Jaguar and Steeler DaJuan Harris.

After the workouts, the Bears decided to sign neither free agent, instead bringing back Kahlil Bell because they a contributor now and he knows the offense.

If Bell had accepted the Bears' request to take a pay cut in August to $700,000 from $1.26 million, indications from NFL sources are that he would have made the roster. Bell clearly appeared to be ahead of Armando Allen and Lorenzo Booker in the battle for the third halfback spot.

Now, if he sticks with the team, Bell will earn $538,125 for the rest of the season. He signed a one-year deal for $615,000, but won't be paid for the first two games.

But sticking with the team is not a foregone conclusion for Bell. Before Forte comes back, he needs to show he is a better option than Allen.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

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