Bears running back David Montgomery did not practice Thursday and remains in the NFL's concussion protocol. It is unclear whether the second-year pro will be able to play Monday night against the Vikings.
"I would think every day would help, but he's in that protocol," said coach Matt Nagy. "We just don't have a lot that we can do with him being in there. We'll just kind of have to wait and see and hope that each day he gets a little bit better."
Montgomery suffered a concussion late in last Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Titans in Tennessee. The 2019 third-round pick from Iowa State ranks 13th in the NFL in rushing with a team-high 472 yards and one touchdown on 131 carries.
"Anytime you lose a player like David Montgomery, that's obviously a big loss," Nagy said. "I have so much respect for the way that he plays this game and what he does for this offense, and I know that we're far, far, far from him being what he can be as a running back in the league and I'm excited to see that happen."
To this point, Montgomery has not missed a game in his first season-and-a-half in the NFL, playing in all 25 contests. If he's unable to go Monday night, the Bears would be without their top two running backs entering the season; Tarik Cohen is out for the year with a torn ACL he suffered in a Week 3 win in Atlanta.
Other running backs on the Bears roster include converted-receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, third-year pro Ryan Nall and undrafted rookie Artavis Pierce. Another option could be veteran Lamar Miller, who is on the practice squad.
Patterson has rushed for 88 yards on 29 carries this year. Nall caught four passes for 35 yards and one touchdown last Sunday against the Titans after Montgomery was injured. But Nall has no rushing attempts this season and only two carries for eight yards in two years with the Bears—both in the 2019 finale in Minnesota. Pierce, who teamed with Nall at Oregon State, has appeared in two games but has played just one snap on offense and has no touches.
Miller, meanwhile, is by far the most experienced of the group. The 5-10, 221-pounder has appeared in 105 NFL games with 89 starts over seven seasons with the Dolphins (2012-15) and Texans (2016-18), rushing for 5,864 yards and 32 touchdowns on 1,354 carries and catching 209 passes for 1,565 yards and 8 TDs. He was voted to the Pro Bowl with Houston in 2018 after running for 973 yards.
"They're all a little bit different," Nagy said. "They have one guy that has experience in Lamar Miller that's seen a lot of different defenses and has been in a lot of different NFL games and been to the Pro Bowl. You have another who is a rookie. And then you have another guy who's worked hard as a free agent to get to this point and is only growing more and more each week. It's kind of, for us, a situation where we just rely on each other as coaches to figure out what's best for our offense."