30 Most Important Bears of 2024: No. 29 Khalil Herbert (2024)

30 Most Important Bears of 2024: No. 29 Khalil Herbert (1)

Brendan Sugrue and Alyssa Barbieri

June 25, 2024 10:30 am CT

The Chicago Bears are gearing up for the 2024 NFL season, which features plenty of new and returning faces within the organization. There are a number of players, coaches and front office members that are crucial to the team’s success this season.

Every day from now until the start of training camp, we’re counting down our 30 Most Important Bears for the 2024 season. We’ll recap their 2023 season, look ahead to 2024 and tackle the biggest question facing them this year.

Up next is running back Khalil Herbert, one of the longest-tenured offensive players. Despite playing a significant role the last few years, however, he will have to fight for carries going into the year.


30 Most Important Bears of 2024: No. 29 Khalil Herbert (2)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 24: Khalil Herbert #24 of the Chicago Bears runs to score a touchdown during the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Soldier Field on December 24, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Position:Running back


Experience:4th season

2023 cap hit:$1.087 million

2023 recap

30 Most Important Bears of 2024: No. 29 Khalil Herbert (3)

LANDOVER, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 05: Khalil Herbert #24 of the Chicago Bears gestures for a first down during the first half against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on October 05, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775992315 ORIG FILE ID: 1719663614

Stats: 132 carries, 611 rushing yards (4.6 yards per carry), 2 touchdowns; 20 receptions, 134 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Herbert held off competition from D’Onta Foreman and rookie Roschon Johnson to remain the starter heading into Week 1, and after a slow start, got going with some hot performances in Weeks 4 and 5 with rushing totals of 103 and 76 yards, respectively. Unfortunately, an ankle injury sidelined him for the middle of the season, and Herbert took time to return to form later in the year. Eventually, he got going again and regained his starting job from Foreman. Herbert rushed for over 100 yards in two of his final three games, ending the year on a high note thanks to his burst of speed and quickness out of the backfield. His receptions and receiving yards were also career bests.

2024 outlook

30 Most Important Bears of 2024: No. 29 Khalil Herbert (4)

Dec 31, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert (24) gets outside to pick up a first down in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Herbert ended the 2023 season on a high note, but the Bears brass still felt the need to upgrade the running back position after none of their backs eclipsed 650 rushing yards in a season for the first time since 1993. Within minutes of free agency opening back in March, they inked D’Andre Swift to a three-year deal, effectively making him the starting running back. Herbert will once again take a backseat, but it’s a position he has thrived in during previous seasons. As an understudy to David Montgomery in 2022, Herbert carried the ball 129 times for 711 yards and four touchdowns. He’s a threat to take to the house on any play, and spelling the starter might be what’s best for him as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.

Big Question: How will Herbert be utilized this upcoming season?

30 Most Important Bears of 2024: No. 29 Khalil Herbert (5)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 01: Khalil Herbert #24 of the Chicago Bears walks off the field after the game against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field on October 01, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775992302 ORIG FILE ID: 1712039168

The only certainty inside the Bears running back room is that Swift is the starter. After that, everything is up for grabs. Herbert can thrive as RB2, but will he get that chance? He still needs to contend with Johnson, whom the Bears spent a fourth-round pick on during the 2023 NFL Draft. Johnson has shown flashes of being able to produce as a three-down back, which includes his pass-blocking abilities. Herbert continues to struggle in that department, and it’s possible he loses out on opportunities if Johnson continues to develop.

There is also a chance the Bears opt to move on from Herbert before the season starts. He can be an asset to a running back-needy team, and he’s set to be a free agent next offseason anyway. However, assuming he remains, Herbert should play a role and provide a scoring threat when he’s in the backfield. We just don’t know what those opportunities will look like under new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.

30 Most Important Bears of 2024

30 Most Important Bears of 2024: No. 29 Khalil Herbert (6)

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More 2024 season

30 Most Important Bears of 2024: No. 29 Khalil Herbert (2024)


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