The Bears have activated David Montgomery, per an official club announcement. He’ll return from the injured reserve list just in time to face the Steelers tonight in Pittsburgh.
This is good, but expected news for the Bears. Head coach Matt Nagy said last week there was a good chance that Montgomery could return this week, marking his first action since Week 4.
Montgomery, 24, tallied 309 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns up until his injury, plus six catches for 49 yards. After his career year in 2020 — 1,070 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs — he should provide a boost for the Bears’ offense tonight. They enter the national TV matchup on a three-game losing streak, with their most recent L coming against the 49ers.
The Bears have designated David Montgomery for return from injured reserve, per a club announcement. This move kicks off a 21-day window for the Bears to activate the running back. If he’s not restored to the roster in the next three weeks, he will be ineligible to return in 2021.
Montgomery was placed on IR with an MCL sprain in Week 4. To date, he has registered 309 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, plus six catches for 49 yards. The Bears were expected to lean on ex-Kansas City starter Damien Williams in his stead, but they’ve gotten more production out of sixth-round pick Khalil Herbert. To date, he has 351 yards (and a touchdown) off of 81 carries, with the bulk of those yards coming in the last three games. That includes 5.0+ yards per carry against the Packers and the Bucs.
Montgomery, 24, is coming off of his best season to date. In 2020, he tallied 1,070 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs, good for 4.3 yards per carry. If he’s ready in time, he could make his ’21 debut against the Steelers on Monday night.
While the Bears moved their starting running back off their active roster Saturday, they received some good defensive news. The Bears activated Danny Trevathan off IR, putting the veteran linebacker in position to make his season debut in Week 5.
Trevathan will take David Montgomery‘s roster spot. Montgomery will miss at least Chicago’s next three games, and a more extended absence is expected. The third-year Bears starting running back is not believed to be out for the season — at least, not at this juncture — but the team will need to get by with a different backfield plan.
Chicago added ex-Kansas City starter Damien Williams this offseason. He should be expected to shoulder the brunt of the running back work in Montgomery’s absence. A career backup who saw Kareem Hunt‘s abrupt Chiefs departure change his career trajectory, Williams has managed to be an impact back without a considerable workload. In two Kansas City playoff slates, Williams totaled 10 touchdowns. Yet, he has just 310 career carries despite being in his age-29 season. Williams opted out of the 2020 campaign, leading him to the Bears.
Trevathan, 31, has been with the Bears since 2016. A knee injury during training camp sidelined the 10th-year linebacker, but Trevathan returned to practice last week. His presence alongside Roquan Smith stands to strengthen Chicago’s defense, which enters Week 5 10th in points allowed.
The Bears will be without David Montgomery for a while (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). The running back’s knee injury isn’t a season ender, but it’s expected to cost him several weeks.
Montgomery could return sometime around Week 10 — the Bears’ bye week. It’s unfortunate timing, especially on the heels of his second 100-yard game. Montgomery opened the year with 108 yards against the Rams and, on Sunday, put up 106 yards against Detroit. All in all, he has 309 yards and three touchdowns on the ground plus six grabs for 49 yards.
Ultimately, the injury is not as bad as it first appeared. Montgomery was down for a while after hurting his knee in the fourth quarter and had to be helped off of the field. And, historically, he’s been pretty resilient. Despite bumps and bruises, Montgomery missed just one game between 2019 and 2020.
In the meantime, that leaves the Bears with Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert as their lone RBs. Practice squader Ryan Nall could get called up, but the Bears may also want to explore some out-of-house options.
THURSDAY, 10:02am: Montgomery will be out of action for 2-4 weeks, which means he still has a chance at playing in the Bears’ season opener against the Lions (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport).
WEDNESDAY, 12:53pm: Bears running back David Montgomery went down with a non-contact injury on Wednesday, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. After hobbling off of the field, the 23-year-old was diagnosed with a groin strain. Now, the Bears are awaiting word and hoping for the best.
It’ll take at least a day or two to determine Montgomery’s timetable for recovery, but it’s possible that the Bears won’t have the young rusher for the start of the season. Without Montgomery, the Bears will have to lean even more on Tarik Cohen, plus support from Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce. Cohen, of course, is utilized more as a pass-catcher than a traditional RB. Last year, he carried the ball just 64 times for 213 yards in total while recording a career-high 79 catches. Montgomery, meanwhile, logged 242 totes for 889 yards as a rookie.
This year, the Bears were counting on Montgomery to take a big step forward. The youngster has been eager to show what he can do, especially since cleaning up his diet.
“Whenever I had the craving for a Krispy Creme doughnut, I’d definitely go have one back in the day,” Montgomery said, via the team’s website. “But now, I fight the urge to go have one…I feel amazing. Everything feels good right now, as far as my body. I’m not as sore as I was last year because of the lack of food that I don’t need that has a lot of inflammation to it. And just running. Just being able to run and feeling good at how I run and being able to make the right cuts.”
The Bears drafted running back David Montgomery in the third round back in April, not long after they traded away Jordan Howard. Montgomery has the opportunity to earn a large role this offseason, and so far it sounds like he’s been seizing it. Per Adam Jahns of The Athletic, Montgomery was lighting up the Bears’ OTAs and minicamp. Jahns writes that the Iowa State product “led the rookies, if not the entire team, in highlights made during the offseason program.”
Montgomery was somewhat of a bruising runner at Iowa State, so there was some concern coming out of college about how he’d fare in the passing game. That hasn’t been an issue so far, as Jahns writes that he “excelled in running routes and catching passes,” and that he “looked like a problem for the Bears’ defense.” Per Jahns, Montgomery has both teammates and coaches excited. Tarik Cohen will play his usual role, but he’s never going to be able to handle a full allotment of snaps with his frame. It’s early, but it sounds like Montgomery could take over a featured role as a rookie.
Here’s more from around the league:
The Bears sound pleased with Montgomery’s development, and that isn’t the only good news Chicago fans are getting. In the same piece, Jahns reports that the team expects both tight end Trey Burton and receiver Anthony Miller to be ready for training camp. Burton underwent offseason sports hernia surgery, while Miller had surgery to repair a torn labrum. Both players had missed the team’s recent minicamp and OTAs. Burton’s first year in Chicago was a bit of a disappointment after the big contract that he signed, while Miller showed a lot of flashes in a rookie season that was limited by recurring shoulder issues. Both players could be in for a big 2019 if they can stay healthy.
The XFL has been gearing up for their first season back recently, holding a series of showcases across the country. A bunch of familiar names have popped up, and we have a new one tonight courtesy of Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link). Tommy Streeter, a 2012 sixth-round pick of the Ravens, will participate in the XFL’s Tampa showcase on Saturday, Auman reports. Streeter won Super Bowl XLVII with Baltimore, although he was on injured reserve at the time. He was cut by the Ravens following his rookie season, and the receiver then had stops with the Bills, Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Jaguars. Most recently, the Miami product played in the CFL in 2016.
Chicago traded up to acquire Montgomery, sending three picks (including a 2020 fourth-rounder) to New England in exchange for the 73rd overall selection. The Bears didn’t have a first- or second-round pick in the 2019 draft as a result of the Khalil Mack trade and a 2018 draft-day swap with (again with the Patriots), so Montgomery represented the club’s first selection.
Having already shipped Jordan Howard to the Eagles, the Bears were searching for another back to team with free agent signee Mike Davis and holdover Tarik Cohen. Howard handled roughly 58% of Chicago’s running back snaps and 55% of the team’s rushing attempts a season ago, and head coach Matt Nagy will now be tasked with divvying up touches among three backs.
The Bears will send three picks to the Patriots for their No. 73 overall choice.
New England will move down again and acquire third- and fifth-round Chicago picks (Nos. 87 and 162). The Patriots will also collect a 2020 fourth-round selection from the Bears. Meanwhile, New England will also send the No. 205 choice to the Bears.
Iowa State’s David Montgomeryis going pro. This week, the running back announced that he’ll forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.
Montgomery rushed for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Cyclones in 2018. The early belief is that he could be in the mix for the first round, depending on how things shake out. At the moment, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Montgomery as the No. 4 RB in draft while Todd McShay has him ranked third. Meanwhile, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller sees Montgomery as the most NFL-ready of any RB prospect and has him ranked first ahead of Alabama’s Damien Harris and Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary.
Montgomery’s work ethic may also propel him to the first round.
“People will judge David by what he does on the football field, but there’s another part of him that’s pretty darn impressive,” coach Matt Campbell said. “David is relentless at his craft. We have to almost literally get him out of this (football) facility at night, because he wants to be here constantly.”