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David Montgomery Ruled Out; Cody Whitehair Could Return to Face Vikings

Bears coach Matt Nagy wouldn't rule out a return of center Cody Whitehair Monday from Reserve/COVID-19 and a calf injury, but running back David Montgomery is out with a concussion

Bears fans may finally get their first glimpse of running back Lamar Miller Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings

If they don't, the running game will be in the hands of Ryan Nall and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Starting running back David Montgomery has been ruled out for Monday's game, but not all the injury news is bad for the Bears heading into the weekend.

Matt Nagy on Saturday said their offensive line could get back a key player. Cody Whitehair could come off the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

"Yeah, I would say he's a possibility," Nagy said. "I just don't have any answers right now, but I would certainly say it's a possibility."

The starting Bears center has been sidelined due to a calf injury since Oct. 26, but then went on the COVID-19 list 10 days ago. So if he played, he would be playing without practicing.

Miller has been with the Bears practice squad since Oct. 27 but hasn't played in the NFL since 2018. He suffered a torn ACL while with the Houston Texans in a 2019 preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.

"I would say this with Lamar, he's a really good kid that has a lot of experience and he has had that injury that is not always easy to come back from, but when he was playing at his highest level, he was one of the best running backs in the NFL and to have a guy like that to me there's an excitement of the possibility of him being able to fill a role for us," Nagy said. "I do love this story. I think that if he does get a chance to go out there and do something, it will be exciting for him and for us."

If Whitehair returns, the Bears could avoid using Alex Bars as a center again after he played there for the first time in his life last week in his first NFL start.

The line could have right tackle Jason Spriggs available, as well. Their swing tackle missed last week's game on the COVID-19 list but was cleared from it earlier this week. He is questionable because he has a knee injury but was able to practice Friday on a limited basis.

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One other possibility for the line is playing Eric Kush, who signed this week. A Bears player in 2016-2018, Kush was in Cleveland last year and he had played in this offense in Kansas City when Nagy was there.

"Sure, yeah, he’s done a good job for us in Kansas City and then here when I first got to Chicago," Nagy said. "Again, he has some versatility at the center position and then being able to play both guard spots, plus he has experience, the combination of all of that.

"He's certainly a Type-A personality. I love that, though. I love the fire in the huddle. He comes in his first day and he's telling some rookies to shut up, and I just—it's kinda funny. But then he loves them. He puts his arms around him and tells them 'let's go.' It's a good shut up. So I like that. It's just something that you have. It brings a little spice in there and a little fire. I just think when you have a guy like that that you have experience with, it's nice to have."

If Spriggs can play, the Bears could also return Rashaad Coward back to left guard and they would be as close to having their full group together as they can, short of Bobby Massie's return later this season from injured reserve. Massie has been out since Nov. 1 with a knee injury.

Also out for the Bears are nose tackle John Jenkins (ankle), safety Sherrick McManis (hand) and Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder). None have been available to practice this week.

Backup center Sam Mustipher (knee) is doubtful while tight end Cole Kmet (groin), linebacker Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) and wide receiver Allen Robinson (knee) are questionable. Mingo and Robinson were all able to practice on a limite basis all week while Kmet, like Spriggs, was able to practice Saturday for the first time this week but on a limited basis.

For the Vikings, cornerback Cameron Dantzler is questionable with a concussion that caused him to miss last week's game. Tight end Irv Smith Jr. is out with a groin injury.

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