Now with Armando Allen week-to-week with a hamstring injury, Ford has a big chance to carve out a permanent place with the Chicago Bears.
The 5’10″, 216 pounder went undrafted out of LSU this year. The Bears were excited to add him to the mix because of his speed and abilities and value on special teams.
He ran a 4.45 40-yard dash in February at the NFL Combine. He ranked second in the SEC last season in kickoff returns, averaging 27.5 yards on 20 returns. He had four kickoffs of 40 yards or longer and an impressive 86-yarder against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
With Devin Hester and Eric Weems penciled in as the top two return men for the Bears in 2013, Ford will likely have to prove his worth in the backfield.
He had a pretty impressive debut in the preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers. He had six carries for 15 yards and one touchdown. He also reeled in three passes for 35 yards.
Armando Allen on the other hand had three carries for 12 yards and one reception for three yards. He lost one fumble.
Even before it was revealed Allen would miss some time due to a hamstring injury it was quite clear that the competition between Allen and Ford was quite real.
The Bears signed former San Diego Chargers running back Curtis Brinkley to a one-year deal on Monday. Harvey Unga is also battling a hamstring injury, so the Bears needed a fourth back for the time being in practice.
Ford, Allen and Brinkley are all similar backs in the sense that there all agile backs. However, Ford might be the most complete considering he is powerful and quick out of the backfield on runs and receptions.
Allen should still be considered the favorite for the third running back spot because of his experience, but don’t be shocked to see this competition run until the end of the preseason.
Michael Ford is a very solid back and he will have plenty of chances to prove his worth over the next few weeks.
Tuesday’s practice marked the last practice that will be open to the public in Bourbonnais.
WR Earl Bennett (concussion), DT Henry Melton (concussion), DE Cheta Ozougwu (hamstring), RB Harvey Unga (hamstring), LB D.J. Williams (calf strain), LS Patrick Mannelly (ribs), RB Armando Allen (hamstring) and T Jonathan Scott (knee) all sat out of Tuesday’s practice session.
Swing tackle Jonathan Scott has missed practice for the last week and a half with a knee injury, but head coach Marc Trestman said that Scott had his knee drained and is that much closer to returning (Source: Zach Zaidman Twitter).
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall and defensive end Julius Peppers are both expected to play this Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers after sitting out against Carolina.