The Bears were hoping the injury Montgomery suffered Sunday during the 24-14 victory over the Detroit Lions wouldn’t be season-ending, and that should be the case.
But they still have a big hole to fill for a crucial stretch of games that includes the Las Vegas Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers. Montgomery has 69 carries for 309 yards and three touchdowns and six catches for 49 yards and topped 100 rushing yards for the second time this season against the Lions.
“He played a really good game, and he knew going into it that we were going to be leaning on him and relying on him, so now we’ve just got to see where it goes,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday. “But at the same point in time, in any sports world, it’s the next-man-up mentality. So if that’s the case we’ll get our guys ready. That’s our job as coaches to now be able to game-plan around that.”
The Bears very well could turn to running back Damien Williams, who suffered a thigh bruise Sunday but should be OK, according to NFL Network. Williams signed a one-year deal in the offseason after opting out of the 2020 season to be with his ailing mother.
In four games, he has 16 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown and eight catches for 41 yards. His best season came during the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2019 run to the Super Bowl, when he had 111 carries for 498 yards and five touchdowns and 37 catches for 213 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season.
The Bears also have rookie kick returner/running back Khalil Herbert on the roster to take some of the load if needed.
“Khalil has shown to us from the very first day he got here he’s very mature, he’s very focused,” Nagy said. “He’s learned. I think coach (Michael) Pitre has done a great job of helping him learn the game. You know who else has done a great job is those backs in that room. They’ve insulated him the right way and taught him, whether it’s protections, scheme, how to watch tape, and so if it comes to that, we have a lot of confidence in Khalil.”