The Chicago Bears dodged a bullet earlier this week, but there’s still a possibility they could be without one of their best offensive players for the 2020 season opener. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Bears starting running back David Montgomery is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a groin strain. With Chicago’s season opener against the Detroit Lions being less than three weeks away, Montgomery will be working hard to try to return to the field in time.
On Wednesday, Montgomery was carted off the practice field after slipping during a routine handoff drill. It was a non-contact injury that initially looked like a knee issue, so his teammates were on their toes hoping that tests would yield positive results. Thankfully, those results showed that Montgomery suffered just a groin strain, and would not miss any significant time.
Montgomery was selected by the Bears in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Iowa State. During his rookie season, he rushed for 889 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 3.7 yards per attempt. His workload was presumably set to increase, and in preparation Montgomery went to work slimming down a bit this offseason to increase his speed and quickness. With a questionable quarterback situation, Montgomery was certainly expected to help carry Chicago’s offense in his second season.
If Montgomery does indeed miss the season opener, Tarik Cohen will have to take over as the main talent in the backfield. The Bears are pretty thin at running back, as other than Cohen they only have two other players at the position in Artavis Pierce and Ryan Nall. Both attended Oregon State and both went undrafted in their respective drafts.
Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has been working with the running backs this offseason, so he might be worth a flier if you’re looking for a fantasy sleeper in Week 1. Patterson had double-digit carries in back-to-back weeks as a member of the New England Patriots in 2018. While he’s not a natural running back, he has good straight-line speed and is a big play threat whenever he touches the football.