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Allen Park — Former Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford was hardly a factor when the Lions beat the Bears in Week 6.

Langford scored a touchdown against the Lions, but had 10 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards. In the first five games, he had 38 total yards as the backup to Matt Forte.

Since the limited start, Langford has been a reliable option as a runner and receiver. When Forte missed Weeks 9-11, Langford scored four touchdowns and had two stellar performances in wins over the Chargers and Rams.

Forte returned as the starter, but Langford has received more carries the past three games, including 19 for 83 yards in last week’s victory over the Buccaneers

“They were high on him coming in, and we kind of saw the first couple days when he was out there that he had a lot of talent,” Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said during a teleconference Wednesday. “He can run inside the box, outside the box and he’s a really good pass catcher, so he’s kind of a three-down back.”

With Forte set to be a free agent this offseason, Langford has provided some security. He has 143 carries for 523 yards, 22 catches for 279 yards and seven total touchdowns.

The receiving numbers might be surprising considering that was one of the biggest questions about Langford going into the draft. At MSU, he had 28 catches as a junior and 11 as a senior, and averaged 5.6 yards per reception. As a pro, Langford is averaging 12.7 yards per catch.

“(He has) all of the ingredients that you’re looking for in a running back,” Bears coach John Fox said. “I think he’s had a very good rookie year.”

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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