Nevermind catches or Instagram, Jordan Howard is in Matt Nagy’s Bears offensive plan

Jordan Howard takes part in a veteran's voluntary mini-camp practice at Halas Hall on April 17th.

LAKE FOREST – This was just a question about a few pictures on a Social Media site, but he man answering them handled it like an interrogation.

When it comes to his Bears Instagram pictures, which disappeared at the beginning of April but were back on Tuesday, Jordan Howard isn’t talking.

“Wasn’t nothing to it,” said the running back as to why the pictures disappeared. “That’s the story. People made it up.”

Howard was asked again if he removed the pictures.

“I don’t know, did I,” said the running back as he cracked a mischievous smile.

While a few pictures here and there may not seem a big deal, it did seem to indicate that Howard thought his days with Bears might be numbered. Trade rumors circulated around the running back near the start of the league year this Winter, since Howard’s struggles in the pass catch game could hinder his success in Matt Nagy’s new offense.

When the Bears pictures went off the Social Media site, the talked turned up among fans that the back who had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons to start his career might be on the outs in the new regime.

But on Tuesday, it became apparent that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on Instagram, revealing that his agent got assurance from management that he’s not going anywhere for 2018.

“It’s a business, so you’ve got to understand that,” said Howard when asked if the trade rumors bothered him. “I really wasn’t hurt about that or anything.”

If you are to believe Nagy, then he should have no reason to be upset in his new offense. While many have focused on the 12 combined drops that Howard’s accumulated in his first two years, the head coach isn’t buying into the notion that the third-year running back can’t be effective in any facet of his scheme.

“I wouldn’t say that,” said Nagy when asked if the criticism of Howard’s pass catching ability was warranted. “Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. There is some that are better as pass receivers and some that are better inside, tight zones, mid zones, outside zones, and Jordan has his own way of running.”

Running isn’t the issue at all for Howard, who followed up his 1,313 yard rushing season in his rookie year of 2016 with 1,122 yard totals this past season. Finding consistency in the receiving game is what it’s all about right now for the running back, who had seven drops his first year and five in 2017. The number of times Howard was targeted for receptions dropped by 18 last season as he made just 23 catches compared to 29 his rookie year.

Yet that’s not going to deter Nagy, who very much has Howard in his 2018 backfield plans.

“Anything that he does that’s a weakness, we’re gonna try to focus on that and try to get it better,” said Nagy of Howard. “Just because he struggles in one area – and whatever that is, that we all have – we’re going to get him better. So to sit hereĀ and say he doesn’t fit this offense, I don’t think is very fair.”

So it sounds like Howard should keep those Bears pics on his Instagram for a while.