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Chicago Bears’ All-Time Rushing Yardage Leaders

Updated on December 29, 2008

Walter Payton

Gale Sayers

Thomas Jones


The Chicago Bears are one of the NFL’s oldest franchises and have won 9 championships in their history, including a Super Bowl title after the 1985 season.  While rushing records weren’t tracked until 1932, there have been plenty of amazing running backs for this franchise since then, including the great Walter Payton.  Here is a list of the Bears’ all-time Top 10 in rushing yards to date:


Walter Payton (16,276)—Walter Payton was one of the game’s greatest, if not the greatest, running back, of all-time.  Payton played for the Bears, his only team, from 1975 to 1987 and made the Pro Bowl nine times, including first team All-Pro status five times.  Payton ranks second in NFL history with 16,276 rushing yards, with only Emmitt Smith ahead of him, and of course leads the Bears franchise all-time.  Payton had his best season in 1977, with a career high 1852 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns (tied career best), and added 27 catches for 269 yards as a receiver with 2 more scores.  Sadly, Payton passed away tragically from a rare liver disease in 1999. 


Neal Anderson (6166)—Neal Anderson played for the Bears from 1986 to 1993 (his only team) and ranks second in team history with 6166 rushing yards.  Anderson made the Pro Bowl four straight seasons (1988-91) and his best season was 1989.  That year, Anderson rushed for a career best 1275 yards and 11 rushing TDs, adding 50 catches for 434 yards and 4 more touchdowns out of the backfield.


Rick Casares (5657)—Rick Casares played for the Bears for most of his career (1955-1964) and ranks third in franchise history with 5657 rushing yards.  Casares made the Pro Bowl the first five years of his career and was first team All-Pro in 1956.  That was also Casares’ best season, rushing for career highs in rushing yards (1126) and rushing touchdowns (12), with 23 catches for 203 yards and 2 more TDs as a receiver.


Gale Sayers (4956)—Gale Sayers played only seven seasons, all with the Bears (1965 to 1971), and the Hall of Famer was a five time Pro Bowler and four time first team All-Pro, ranking fourth in Bears’ history with 4956 rushing yards.  Sayers had his best season in 1966, with a career best 1231 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns, adding 34 catches for 447 yards and 2 more TDs out of the backfield.  It’s also worth noting that Sayers had a career high 20 total touchdowns in his rookie season. 


Thomas Jones (3493)—Though he only played in Chicago three seasons (2004 to 2006), journeyman running back Thomas Jones ranks fifth in Bears’ history with 3493 rushing yards.  Jones had arguably the best season of his career in Chicago in 2005, rushing for a career high 1335 yards with 9 rushing scores, and adding 26 catches for 143 yards as a receiver. 


Anthony Thomas (3332)—Anthony Thomas played just four seasons in Chicago, from 2001 to 2004, but ranks sixth in franchise history with 3332 rushing yards.  Thomas had his best season with the Bears in 2001, rushing for career best numbers in rushing yards (1183) and rushing TDs (7), with 22 catches for 178 yards out of the backfield.


Roland Harper (3044)—Roland Harper played his entire career in Chicago, from 1975 to 1982, and ranks seventh in their history with 3044 rushing yards.  Harper was mostly a fullback alongside Walter Payton, and his best season was 1978, when he rushed for a career best 992 yards with 6 TDs (also career high), adding 43 catches for 340 yards and 2 more scores.


Willie Galimore (2985)—Willie Galimore played for the Bears his entire career, from 1957 to 1963 and ranks eighth in team history with 2985 rushing yards.  Galimore made the Pro Bowl in 1958 but his best overall season was 1961, with a career high 707 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns; and 33 catches for 502 yards and three more TDs as a receiver.


Matt Suhey (2946)—Matt Suhey was a big, bruising fullback who played his entire career in Chicago, from 1980 to 1989.  Suhey ranks ninth in Bears’ history with 2946 rushing yards, and his best season numbers-wise was 1983.  That year, Suhey rushed for a career best 681 yards with 4 TDs, adding 49 catches for 429 yards (also career best numbers) with one more touchdown out of the backfield.


Ronnie Bull (2871)—Ronnie Bull is a great name for a running back, and Bull played most of his career for the Bears (1962 to 1970).  Bull ranks tenth in team history with 2871 rushing yards, and his best season for the Bears was 1968, with a career high 472 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns (tied career best), adding 17 catches for 145 yards as a receiver.


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    • profile image

      Ryan 5 years ago

      Matt Forte is a beast! I hope we resign him! He will passing a lot if guys on this list very soon! Could be our second all time leading rusher in no time!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I have loved the bears since the Sayers Days. I was only a small child when he was running, but it led to the Sweetness days, and have been in love every since. Walter made the bears fun to watch when they was 4-12. I'm also a huge Matt Suhey fan, he never got the respect that he deserved.

      Nice Hub!