Bears running back Jordan Howard to pay tribute to his father with special cleats

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LAKE FOREST  –  On a number of days in a forgettable 2016 season, he’s been the one guy to stand out from the crowd. On Sunday, he is guaranteed to do the same.

Rookie running back Jordan Howard, whose 766 yards rushing has been a bright spot for a dismal Bears team this season, will take to the turf at Soldier Field on Sunday for the game against the 49ers with a unique piece of equipment.

In honor of his father, Reginald “Doc” Howard, the running back will wear teal and lime green cleats for Pulmonary Fibrosis awareness. He died of the disease when Howard was 12 years old and he chose this cause to represent during the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign during Week 13 games.

“It will be very special for me,” said Howard of wearing the cleats at Soldier Field.

Since coming to Chicago, the running back has gotten involved with the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation in the city and spoke at their volunteer meeting earlier in the month.

“I just told them my story and how we’re going to keep fighting the disease to try and find a cure or something just to help out,” said Howard, who has played well in honor of his father during his football career.

The Fairfield, Alabama native rushed for 1,587 yards at UAB in 2014 before the school shutdown the program and he transferred to Indiana. In his only season with the Hoosiers, Howard gained 1,213 yards and nine touchdowns while also making 11 catches for 106 yards and a score.

A fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Howard has worked his way into the Bears’ starting lineup as a rookie. He’s rushed for 766 yards, gaining 5.1 per carry, along with catching 22 passes for 242 yards while scoring three total touchdowns.

“He definitely inspired me, I think about him everyday,” said Howard of his father. “He’s always there with me, even though he’s not here in body, I know he’s here in spirit. He’s always motivated me and this is all we’ve ever talked about.”

Now he gets to standout in more ways than one for a good cause on Sunday.


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