The debate heading into Week 8 centered on how the Chicago Bears would divvy up playing time in the backfield between Howard, Ka'Deem Carey and Jeremy Langford, who returned from a high-ankle sprain after missing a month.
All of the pregame chatter proved meaningless.
Howard played 50 snaps on offense (82 percent), while Carey (six) and Langford (five) combined for just 11 reps.
"I definitely didn't think they were going to lean on me that often," Howard said. "But I guess I started with the hot hand, and they just stuck with me."
Howard rewarded the Bears' faith with 202 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
Howard had been struggling and KaDeem Carey has outplayed him the last couple of weeks, so Howard's workload and performance was a surprise against a good Minnesota defense. He projects to be a solid fantasy RB2 the rest of the way.