Four Downs: Forte latest Bear to go down

Updated: December 4, 2011, 9:18 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

With starting quarterback Jay Cutler on the shelf for perhaps the rest of the season, Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith made it clear how his team would alter the offensive game plan: The Bears would rely more on star running back Matt Forte. Well, that plan won't be in action the next few weeks, at the least, as Forte suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his right knee early in Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Forte is expected to miss two to four weeks, a large problem for a sputtering Bears team that managed a pitiful three points at home Sunday, and for fantasy owners starting the playoffs in Week 14.

Forte entered the week leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage and sixth among running backs in standard fantasy scoring. He was active in 99.6 percent of ESPN standard leagues -- second only to Ray Rice -- though it's important to note Forte was hardly thriving; he hadn't reached as many as 13 fantasy points since Week 7. Many a fantasy playoff team will wonder why this injury had to happen now, but in a way, things could be far worse. Now fantasy owners don't have to play the guy "that carried them" to this point, because he had stopped doing so, and focus ahead on Week 14 producers. Forte was struggling, he's been ceding goal-line carries to Marion Barber for months and new quarterback Caleb Hanie was abysmal Sunday, throwing three interceptions and producing a minus-one in fantasy.