Forte during the 2008 season.
No. 22 Chicago Bears
|Date of birth:December 10, 1985|
|Place of birth: Lake Charles, Louisiana|
|High school: Slidell (LA)|
|NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44|
|Debuted in 2008 for the Chicago Bears|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2013
Matthew Garrett "Matt" Forté (born December 10, 1985) is an American football running back for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Tulane University, and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Slidell, Louisiana||Slidell High School||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)||220 lb (100 kg)||4.5||Dec 15, 2003|
|Overall recruiting rankings:|
Forte played NCAA Division I college football at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, a member of Conference USA. Forte lettered for four years and played for 3 while pursuing a degree in finance. His junior year was cut short when he suffered an injury in the game against Marshall University. His standout season was his senior year, coming off a knee injury, Forte set several Tulane school records, including rushing for 2,127 yards and 23 touchdowns. He had five 200+ yard rushing games and two 300+ yard games during the 2007 season. Forte was the only non-BCS athlete to be a semifinalist for both the Maxwell and Doak Walker Awards and to make the Walter Camp Player of the Year List, and one of just 3 players nationally to be named to all three lists.
Forte garnered the most buzz at the 2008 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and walked away with the Overall MVP award. He led with 59 yards rushing on 8 carries; 4 receptions for 38 yards and a tackle on special teams.
Awards and honors
- Conference USA All-Freshman (2004)
- 2× All-Conference USA (2005, 2007)
- Third-team AP All-American (2007)
- Doak Walker Award semifinalist (2007)
- Maxwell Award semifinalist (2007)
- Senior Bowl MVP (2008)
2008 NFL Combine
|Ht||Wt||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 2 in||217 lb||4.44 s||1.49 s||2.55 s||4.23 s||6.84 s||33 in||9 ft 10 in||23 reps|
|All values from the 2008 NFL Combine|
The Chicago Bears drafted Forte in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft as the forty-fourth overall selection. He was originally drafted to compete with Cedric Benson and for the team's starting running back position. However, Benson was released from the Bears after struggling with legal issues, leaving Forte to compete with Adrian Peterson and second-year running back Garrett Wolfe. Forte made his regular season debut on September 7, 2008, against the Indianapolis Colts. He carried the ball 23 times for 123 yards (setting a franchise record for most yards gained in a running back debut) and scored his first career touchdown on a then-career long 50 yard run en route to a 29-13 victory over the Colts. His efforts earned him Sunday Night Football’s “Horse Trailer Player of the Game” award.
Forte became the first Chicago Bears running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in his rookie season since Anthony Thomas rushed for 1,183 yards in 2001. He would finish with 1,238 yards rushing on the year as well as finishing with 1,715 yards from scrimmage (Rushing and Receiving). This was good enough for third in the entire league and broke Hall of Famer Gale Sayers's former team record of 1,374 in 1965. Forte led all rookie running backs in total yards and receptions. He received one vote for the National Football League Rookie of the Year Award, finishing behind Ryan Clady, Chris Johnson, and Matt Ryan.
Forte recorded 271 yards over the first four games of the 2009 season. He had his first big game of the season during Week 4, against the Detroit Lions, during which he rushed for 121 yards, and scored his first touchdown of the season.
In 2010, Forte was backed up by fellow running back Chester Taylor. In a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, Forte ran for an 89-yard touchdown, which would have been the longest run in Bears history if it had occurred during a regular season game. In Week 1 of the 2010 season, Matt Forte had two receiving touchdowns, one of 89 and one of 28, the latter of which was the game-winner. Forte was named NFC offensive player of the week for Week 1. In Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, Forte had touchdown runs of 18 and 68 yards, the latter a career long, on the way to 166 total rushing yards on the day. Forte was named FedEx Ground Player of the Week for this week.
In Week 11, during the season's first Thursday Night Football game, playing on the road against the Miami Dolphins, Forte rushed for 97 yards on 25 carries and scored the game's only touchdown on a 2-yard run in the 4th quarter as the Bears shutout the Dolphins, 16-0.
On October 2, 2011, Forte rushed for a career high 205 yards and 1 touchdown in the Week 4 match up against the Carolina Panthers. Entering the team's week 8 bye, Forte has rushed for 672 yards and has 38 receptions for 419 yards, leading the Chicago Bears in both categories. He also leads the NFL in total yards. In a November 7 game against the Eagles, Forte, along with Herschel Walker, became the only players to have 700 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards in his first 4 seasons, and is the only player in NFL history to have at least 900 yards rushing and 400 yard receiving. Forte sprained his MCL in a loss to the Chiefs, and was eventually placed on injured reserve. However, he was placed on the NFC squad for the 2012 Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, making him the first Bear running back to be named to the Pro Bowl since Neal Anderson in 1991. In the game, Forte had 2 carries for 6 yards, and 1 catch for 4 yards.
On March 2, 2012, Forte was given the franchise tag by the Bears that is worth $7.74 million. However, Forte has expressed his frustration and has refused to sign the tender, which eventually led to the Bears signing Michael Bush. Forte has since then considered a possibility of holding out until he gets a long term deal. Forte eventually skipped the team's organized team activity (OTA) workouts. Forte was eventually given a July 16 deadline to agree to a long-term deal. Forte agreed to a four-year, 32 million dollar deal. In week two against the Green Bay Packers, Forte sustained an ankle injury when he was tackled by Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, which the team considered a "high ankle sprain", though the team later reported that it was not a high ankle sprain. Forte was later ruled out for the Bears-St. Louis Rams game. Forte eventually practiced on September 26, and played against the Dallas Cowboys. Forte ended the year with a career-low 44 receptions for 340 yards.
In week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Forté had a 55-yard run, and the following week against the Detroit Lions, had a 53-yard run, making him the first Bears running back to record runs of 50+ yards in back-to-back games since Raymont Harris in 1997. Two weeks later against the New Orleans Saints, Forté passed Rick Casares to take third in the all-time leading rusher list with 5,702 career yards, behind Walter Payton and Neal Anderson. Against the Detroit Lions in week 10, Forté recorded 49 yards from scrimmage to bring his season total to 1,023, and became the first player in Bears history and 18th NFL player to record 1,000 yards from scrimmage in each of his first sixth seasons. On November 24, 2013, Forté accumulated the second most total career rushing yards in Bears franchise history, surpassing Neal Anderson.
Forte earned a degree in Finance from Tulane University in May 2009. In his spare time, Forte enjoys playing video games, especially Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Halo 3 for the Xbox 360. Forte was also the runner up in the 2008 Rookie Madden Bowl, finishing second to Devin Thomas. Forte followed his father who played for the Green Wave at Tulane University in the 1970s.
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- Mayer, Larry (2013-07-29). "Forte eager to be more involved in passing game". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Mayer, Larry (2013-09-29). "Larry Mayers's Bears-Lions Game Blog". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
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- Stoltz, Jeremy (2013-11-24). "Forte No. 2 rusher in Bears annals". Scout.com (Dear Report). Retrieved 2013-11-25.
- Matt Forte . "Matt Forte, RB for the Chicago Bears at". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- Mayer, Larry (2009-05-11). "Forte hits books to earn finance degree from Tulane". chicagobears.com. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
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- Edholm, Eric (2008-05-17). "Devin Thomas over Matt Forte in Madden 08". Pro-Football Weekly. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
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