Matt Forte on verge of receptions record

Matt Forte needs eight catches this Sunday to break the single-season record for receptions by a running back, held by Larry Centers, who caught 101 passes in 1995.

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte has 1,772 yards from scrimmage this season, third most in the NFL. Yet when the Pro Bowl selections were announced yesterday, Forte’s name was left off the list.

“The running backs that were picked, they’re really good too. I’ve been twice. So I’m not really too crazy about not being picked or people think I deserve it and all that stuff,” Forte said today. “I’m not a big stats guy. I go to work every day and then let everything else take care of itself. I’m a teamwork guy. I like to see everybody succeed.”

Forte will still likely earn a trip to Hawaii as an alternate but his Pro Bowl snub further cements his status as one of the most underrated players in the NFL.

This comes during a season in which Forte has an opportunity to break an NFL record that has stood for nearly 20 years.

Forte has 94 receptions this season, sixth most in the NFL. If he catches eight or more passes against the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday, he’ll break the all-time single-season record for receptions by a running back.

The previous record was set by Larry Centers, who had 101 catches for the Arizona Cardinals in 1995.

“It’s important, but not the most important thing to me,” said Forte. “Out of the level of things that are of importance in this game, it’s probably one of the least important to me. I’m not going to go out looking to get eight catches. I’m really just going out there to run the ball, catch the ball, block and do what I’ve got to do for us to be successful on offense and help us win the game.

“At the same time, I know some guys look at it as a personal goal for the offensive group as a whole, saying ‘I got to block for him’ and that type of stuff. I’ll do the same thing. I get to run behind one of the best offensive lines in the league I think. So it’s a privilege for me.”

Forte is averaging 6.2 catches per game this season, so eight receptions should be well within his reach. One thing is for sure: Kyle Long will be pushing for his teammate to break the all-time mark.

“I know I’m going to be yelling at our quarterback to throw him the ball,” Long said. “Are you kidding me? What a tremendous honor to get to play with a guy like Matt and have an opportunity to be a part of something like that that will stand for a really long time.”

Since 2008, Forte leads all NFL running backs in receptions (435) and receiving yardage (3,704), and has the third most touchdown catches (16).

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com 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.

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