David Montgomery injury: Bears RB doubtful to return

Chicago Bears RB David Montgomery left Sunday's game against the Texans with an ankle injury and is doubtful to return.

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery left Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans with an ankle injury and is doubtful to return. Backup Khalil Herbert has taken over as Chicago’s RB and figures to handle the majority of the workload for the remainder of Week 3.

How the Bears can replace David Montgomery

Montgomery got rolled up while pass blocking in the first quarter. He walked to the medical tent under his own power, but he eventually went to the locker room before the Bears changed his status to doubtful. He’d taken three carries for 11 yards before exiting the game.

Herbert, who had been viewed as a potentially better fit for Chicago’s zone-running scheme, has already scored a touchdown in Montgomery’s absence. A sixth-round pick out of Kansas in the 2021 NFL Draft, Herbert started in Weeks 6 and 7 last year, totaling 197 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

The Bears don’t have many offensive weapons, so losing a player of Montgomery’s caliber won’t help Justin Fields and Co. But the dropoff from Montgomery to Herbert isn’t massive, and the second-year back should be able to convert some of his opportunities into production.

For Montgomery, a long-term injury would be devastating not only for his immediate availability but for his status as a pending free agent. The 25-year-old is scheduled to hit the open market next offseason, and he could find a relatively cold market if he’s coming off a serious ankle issue.

The Bears may have also lost wide receiver Byron Pringle, who is doubtful to return after suffering a calf injury. He’d posted one catch for 11 yards before leaving the game. Pringle isn’t a huge part of Chicago’s offensive attack, but this isn’t a roster that can afford to lose much depth.

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