Bears searching for a backup RB

The Chicago Bears yesterday worked out two veteran running backs and are hosting a late-round prospect later this week.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bears yesterday worked out veteran running backs Javon Ringer and Phillip Tanner.

Ringer has dealt with injuries the past two years and was out football in 2013. He has played just two NFL games since 2011. In four seasons with the Tennessee Titans as Chris Johnson's backup, Ringer amassed 120 carries for 486 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and three touchdowns.

Tanner has spent his entire three-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys, tallying 56 carries for 149 yards (2.7 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.

The only backup running back on Chicago's current roster is Michael Ford, an undrafted free agent last season who didn't get a single carry despite being active for 12 contests. The club is obviously kicking the tires on veteran ball carriers who might be able to provide good competition in training camp.

The Bears will also be looking to this year's draft class to find Matt Forte's potential backup. To that end, the club will host former Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas later this week.

Thomas is considered a fifth- or sixth-round draft pick. He ran a 4.50 40-yard dash at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, which was in stark contrast to the speed he displayed on the field during his collegiate career.

Yet Thomas made up for it at his pro day, running a reported 4.39. He's on the small side (5-9, 174) but he's extremely explosive and has value as a kick and punt returner. He had four return touchdowns for the Ducks, averaging 25.8 yards per kick return and 17.1 yards per punt return.

Bear Report will have a full scouting report on Thomas later today.

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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