David Montgomery's Groin Injury Clouds Bears Backfield Situation

With David Montgomery out, the Bears are left with a ton of inexperience in the backfield, with either Ryan Nall, rookie Artavis Pierce, Cordarrelle Patterson or Tarik Cohen taking the carries.
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David Montgomery lined up to take a handoff from Mitchell Trubisky during individual work early in Wednesday's Bears practice, made a cut after the snap and slipped to the ground.

A few minutes later the Bears' starting running back was taken on the back of a cart from the outer practice fields to Halas Hall, some 300 or 400 yards away to be examined and the end result was a groin injury. 

It was a scary situation,  and for a moment it looked like some type of knee injury. The Bears at least dodged that season-ending scenario, but for now they can't be certain how severe the injury is and when they'll have their starter back.

If it's a long-term situation, it's possible GM Ryan Pace would have to look into free agency for a back. Devonta Freeman of the Falcons is the premier unsigned player. 

"Ryan and I aren't there yet just because we don't know," Nagy said. "You try to stay as positive as you can. You don't know, really, what the answer is and where things are at. 

"And then there's different, again, we talk about contingency. This is the Year of the Contingency."

Nagy has used that term often but in relation to COVID-19.

 "What are our options? Do we like where we're at right now, or do we feel like we need to go outside of the building?" Nagy said. "That's all stuff that we’ll discuss. Whatever we do, we'll do it so that it helps us. For sure, we've gotta look at all that."

If the Bears had to bring in a free agent back, Nagy thought there was still time to get him up to performing within the offense by Week 1.

"Well, yeah, it's possible," Nagy said. "You've just gotta make sure that whatever that is, in any situation, regardless of this year, when something happens where you've gotta replace somebody, which we don’t know if we're there yet or not, but if we do, then you've gotta be able to adjust a little bit with that position and make sure that—who knows who it is and how it goes, but we as coaches have gotta do our job of making sure it's a smooth transition. 

"I know that we would end up doing that if that was the case. But that, really at all positions, but with the time being so close, you just have to be real careful with how much you do."

The options facing the Bears without a signing are using Ryan Nall, who has two NFL carries, or rookie Artavis Pierce, an undrafted free agent who was Nall's college teammate at Oregon State.

They could use Tarik Cohen a little more in the backfield. He basically became more of a receiver last year with 79 receptions and a career-low 64 runs. 

Also they could use Cordarrelle Patterson as he is taking all his plays out of the backfield at the moment. 

However, there's a problem with Patterson, Cohen and possibly even Pierce and it became real evident when the team went to pass-blocking drills on Wednesday, backs against linebackers. 

Patterson was destroyed on a few plays and Pierce was completely trampled on one play. Nall probably has the pass-blocking ability to stay in the lineup, but one of Montgomery's great strengths last year was pass blocking. 

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