Matt Forte let a video do some talking for him in response to reports that the Bears are using concerns about his knees as a way to avoid giving him a long-term contract.
Running uphill with 100 pounds strapped to your body is fairly compelling, but Forte’s agent isn’t letting that be the only comment on the matter. Adisa Bakari joined his client in expressing outrage at implications that his knees can’t hold up to the pounding they will take in future seasons as a running back.
“Matt Forte is among the most, if not the most, durable, all-purpose running back in the NFL,” Bakari said, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “The 2011 season was the first season of his career that he missed any games. Had the Bears been play-off contenders, he could have returned for the balance of the season. To question his durability at this stage in his career is absurd.”
While it is true that Forte missed his first NFL games last season, it wasn’t the first time that he’s had knee problems. He tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at Tulane and sprained the medial collateral ligament in the same knee during the 2009 season. Last year’s sprained MCL was in the right knee, which means that there are now questions about the fitness of each knee.
That reality matters more than the amount of games that Forte has missed over the past four years when it comes to making a decision about a long-term extension. Forte and Bakari might not think that’s fair, but it’s increasingly looking like the reality in Chicago.