As he prepares to return to action Sunday night in Green Bay, running back David Montgomery is convinced that better days are ahead for a struggling Bears rushing attack.
"There's always that light at the end of every tunnel," said the 2019 third-round draft pick from Iowa State. "I'm never one to lose hope or ever lose faith in the process."
Montgomery told reporters Wednesday that he had cleared concussion protocol and returned to practice Monday while declaring he's "ready to go" against the Packers. The third-year pro sat out the Bears' last game, Nov. 16 versus the Vikings, with a concussion he had suffered a week earlier against the Titans.
The Bears rank last in the NFL in rushing, averaging just 78.2 yards per game. They've struggled with and without Montgomery on the field. After averaging 138.0 yards rushing in winning their first three games, the Bears have been limited to an average of 52.6 yards on the ground while losing five of their last seven contests. During that stretch, they've rushed for more than 63 yards just once, including outputs of 28, 35 and 41 yards.
"You just keep coming out here every week," Montgomery said, "going to work and focus on … what you can control and going out there being a great team guy, being sure that we stay on top of things, because it will turn, whether or not anybody wants to believe it or not, but it will."
Montgomery concedes that the Bears' lack of success on the ground has frustrated him, as it would for "anybody who's a competitor." He's still seeking his first 100-yard game of the year and has been held under 60 yards in six of his last seven starts.
“There’s always that light at the end of every tunnel. I’m never one to lose hope or ever lose faith in the process.” Bears running back David Montgomery
"There's definitely moments of frustration where you feel things aren't going your way," Montgomery said. "But you learn a lot more when things aren't going your way than when things are. You learn how to be honest with yourself; how to be faithful to the process, even when sometimes the process doesn't seem like it's working.
"But yeah, definitely, you can be frustrated. You've just got to use your thumb to point back at yourself and figure out what you can do to make yourself better and make your team better. Because at the end of the day, if I don't go out there with the best mindset and the best mentality to try to make everybody else around me better, nothing will ever be as good as it was before. So you've just got to point the thumb at yourself, figure out what things need to be fixed and attack 'em."
Montgomery is eager to get back onto the field against the Packers after watching the Vikings game on TV at home. Asked what he learned from that experience, he said: "I learned that I didn't want to be at home and I wanted to be on the field. The last thing I wanted to be is at home and feel useless and feel helpless. That was probably the biggest feeling that I felt. I definitely don't want to feel that feeling again."