LAKE FOREST – When the injury initially happened, there were initial fears that it might keep him out for the season.
Whenever a player goes down like David Montgomery did during the Bears’ practice on August 26th and it ends up being a groin injuries, it looked as if a long absence was ahead.
But fellow running back Tarik Cohen never really felt that way. In fact, he thinks the fears of a long absence were a little overblown.
“I feel like the injury was a bigger deal in the media than it really was here. He bounced back after that fast it’s like it never happened.”
That looks like it’s the case since Montgomery was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday, increasing his chances to play in the season opener Sunday against the Lions. It’s a major relief for the Bears since the second-year running back is expected to carry much of the load in the backfield in 2020.
That includes Montgomery, who initially feared what everyone else did when the injury happened.
“I thought I tore something, actually. Just how it happened, when it happened, and what it looked like after it happened,” said Montgomery. “Luckily there wasn’t a tear so through the grace of God I’m able to get back with the rehab and the training so I could get back on the field.”
Montgomery has been doing so slowly since the injury in hopes of staying healthy into the regular season. Getting slowed down is a difficult thing for the running back, who talked earlier in training camp about his changes in both diet and workouts to aid his production in 2020.
“Your best ability is your availability,” said Montgomery. “Just make sure I’m taking care of myself. I would be hurting the team more if I was to come back earlier than I was supposed to and continually hurt myself again. I hurt the team is hurting myself.
“The biggest thing is being smart with myself and smart with myself.”
By doing that, he’ll have another chance to show why the Bears had such faith in Montgomery when he was taken in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He showed some flashes of power and elusiveness that he was known for at Iowa State at times in his rookie year, but like the rest of the offense, he had his fair share of inconsistencies.
He finished with 889 yards and a 3.7 per carry average with six touchdowns while catching 25 passes for 185 yards with a score. From what he’s seen out of Montgomery during training camp, even after the injury, Cohen has faith that his production could take a leap in 2020.
“Running hard, making that first person have a tough day tackling him,” said Cohen of Montgomery. “I just see him having a great year this year. Like I said, yards after that first contact is going to be off the charts this year.”
Montgomery is taking care of himself right now to make sure that can happen.
See more on the Bears on Chicago Football Weekly with Jarrett Payton and Lauren Magiera on Saturday nights during the season at 6 PM on WGN-TV.