Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery is in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Even if he passes all tests, he desperately needs more help than he’s getting from the team.
As we all know, the Chicago Bears are a mess at the moment. The offense spent the entire season struggling to move the ball and score point. Now injuries threaten to make matter worse. Last week, the team had an undrafted offensive tackle/guard, make his first professional start in a position he’s never played, center. Three of the five original starters are down. A couple of backups are down as well. What we saw against the Tennessee Titans last week shouldn’t be a surprise.
The hits keep coming for the Bears’ offense. David Montgomery, the only real running back who is on the field, suffered a concussion late in the Titans game. He is now in the NFL’s concussion protocol. He could pass all tests by the end of the week. In fact, the Bears play on Monday Night so he has an extra day to get clearance.
Even if Montgomery passes all tests, the coaches need to give him more help than they provided so far. Since his backup, Tarik Cohen, tore his ACL, Montgomery is basically the only running back playing. The coaches have Cordarrelle Patterson running out of the backfield, but that experiment isn’t working. Patterson averages only 9.8 yards per game on 3.2 rushing attempts per game.
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The coaches have to do something to help Montgomery. Head coach Matt Nagy says he understands how important the running game is, but when game time rolls around he shows that he doesn’t. The Bears have 200 rushes this season, averaging 22.2 rushes per game. That ranks 31st in the league. The offense ran the ball 85 times in the first three games, averaging 28.3 rushes per game. In those first three games, they averaged 138 yards per game. In the past six, they’ve rushed for 54.5 yards per game while averaging 19.2 rushing attempts per game.
Out of the 22 carries per game, Montgomery runs the ball about 15 of them. Even when Cohen was healthy, he only had about 5 carries per game. Nagy isn’t running the ball much, and when he does run it he keeps giving it to Montgomery. It’s a wonder Montgomery hasn’t gone down earlier.
The Bears have help on the roster, why not use them?
The Bears actually have two other running backs they could use. They have rookie Artavis Pierce on the roster. Nagy hasn’t used him, however. Pierce has been in on just 12 snaps this season. Of those, 11 were on special teams.
The Bears also signed former Pro Bowl running back Lamar Miller on October 5th. Unfortunately, he has yet to find his way out of the practice squad. He’s apparently over his knee injury and is in good shape, but for some unknown reason, the team hasn’t activated him.
With Miller not being used, the question is why? There were other running backs available who were healthy and ready to play right away. For example, one of the better running backs in the league, Le’Veon Bell, was released by the New York Jets on October 14th. By October 17th, the Kansas City Chiefs signed him to the practice squad and had him on the field playing. Meanwhile, Nagy keeps saying that Miller is inching closer.
It is just incredible how badly the Chicago Bears are handling their running back situation. They ignore the problem so much they refuse to give Montgomery any help. General manager Ryan Pace refused to make any moves to strengthen the offensive line or the running game. Nagy doesn’t run much and when he does he wants to put everything on Montgomery’s shoulder. The way things are now, it’s amazing the Bears are 5-4. If the situation doesn’t change soon, the team’s winning record will be a long memory.