Bears RB David Montgomery to miss 4-5 weeks with knee sprain: reports

Bears Report

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery heads to the locker room after getting injured during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Bears may have dodged a bullet with David Montgomery.

According to ESPN, the third-year running back’s knee injury isn’t season-ending. However, he is expected to miss 4-5 weeks with a sprain.

Montgomery currently sits at fifth in the NFL in rushing yards with 309 after picking up 106 and two touchdowns Sunday against the Lions.

“With a lot of this offense going through him, I think a lot of you feel it, you see it, his energy, his passion, the way he runs the football,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy explained. “The other stuff that you (media) can’t always see is how he is in practice and how focused he is and how he runs that huddle at times. You love that about him.”

Add this to the uncertainty at quarterback whether rookie Justin Fields will be asked to start for the third straight time because of the knee injury to starter Andy Dalton, and it will be another week of guessing for Nagy and the offense.

The fact Fields did a complete turnaround Sunday by going 11 of 17 for 209 yards won’t change things.

“When we work through this whole process, we gotta see where Andy’s at health-wise these next two days,” Nagy said. “That’s important.

“Like we said this whole time, when Andy’s healthy, he’s our starter.”

The Bears also have to contend with a quad injury to backup running back Damien Williams. So it’s possible they might need to rely on rookie running back Khalil Herbert.

“It’s one of those deals where, I can remember in the preseason, several years ago when Spencer Ware tore his ACL against the Seahawks (for Kansas City) in preseason game three or four and a running back by the name of Kareem Hunt stepped up and became pretty good,” Nagy said. “You just never know where guys are and how they go.

“If that’s the case, we have confidence in him.”

WHAT’S WORKING

The running game was allowed to work and flourished against Detroit with season highs of 39 carries and 188 yards, as offensive coordinator Bill Lazor took over play-calling. It was the third-highest rushing yardage total they’ve had with Nagy as coach.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Run defense. The Bears started the season strong here and figured to become even stronger when nose tackle Eddie Goldman returned Sunday for his first game since 2019, but defensive end Akiem Hicks went out on the defense’s first play with a groin injury. The Bears gave up 90 yards rushing, not a large amount, but those all came before the Lions fell behind by three touchdowns and focused on the passing game.

STOCK UP

Darnell Mooney made progress as a wide receiver who can get open downfield. Mooney’s career-high 125 yards came on five receptions, including catches of 64, 32 and 21 yards.

“When the run game is going good, the pass game opens up,” Mooney said.

STOCK DOWN

Cole Kmet and the team’s tight ends continue to have trouble getting involved in the passing game. Kmet had one reception for 6 yards in three targets and has eight receptions on the year. Jimmy Graham and Jesse James were untargeted Sunday and Graham is the only tight end with a reception this year besides Kmet. He has one catch, none in the past three games.

“We have in this offense a lot of good playmakers and so sometimes, whether it’s play design or whether it’s just unlucky that they didn’t get it, just so far this year, there hasn’t been a lot of targets,” Nagy said.

“Now at the same point in time the tight ends yesterday I thought did a good job of really saying, ‘You know what, we’re gonna get after it (blocking) in the run game a little bit and we’re gonna be a big part of it.’ ”

INJURED

Besides Montgomery and Williams, the Bears had defensive end Akiem Hicks leave on the first play with a groin injury and Khalil Mack played on only 48% of the defensive snaps as he was dealing with a foot sprain coming into the game.

KEY NUMBER

5 — The number of pass plays longer than 20 yards by the Bears against Detroit. Before Sunday they had one total for the season’s first three games.

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