Jeremy Langford 'excited' to replace Matt Forte in starting lineup


LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Rookie tailback Jeremy Langford expressed excitement over replacing Matt Forte in the starting lineup in Week 9.

“I’m excited. I’m very excited,” Langford said on Friday. “But at the same time, I have to relax and take it one day at a time, especially because it’s on Monday Night Football. I just need to do my best to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Forte missed practice again on Friday because of a knee injury.

Quarterback Jay Cutler said the offense is ready to roll with Langford -- the club’s 2015 fourth-round draft choice -- for the foreseeable future.

“We have no choice,” Cutler said. “Matt is not coming back. Not this game anyway, I don’t think. We’re going to have to work with the young kid, and like I said, he makes it easy. His work and his preparation … you develop trust pretty quickly just because of the way he holds himself to a certain standard each day in practice.”

Cutler is undeterred by Langford’s lack of experience. The first-year running back has been on the field for only 73 snaps in seven games, carrying the ball 27 times for 80 yards.

“He’s developing into a professional pretty quickly,” Cutler said. “He knows what we are asking of him. He knows protections. He obviously knows the run game and is picking up the pass game very quickly. He makes it comfortable on the quarterback. If you tell him something, he already knows it. He already knows what he is supposed to do. He’s developing into that role pretty quickly.”

In other injury news, wide receiver Eddie Royal (knee), linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee) and center Hroniss Grasu (neck) also skipped Friday’s practice.

Linebacker Shea McClellin (knee), left tackle Jermon Bushrod (shoulder), tight end Zach Miller (shoulder) and cornerback Bryce Callahan (concussion) were limited on the practice field.

The Bears practice on Saturday before departing for Southern California on Sunday.