Rookie Justin Fields already has an added challenge in his first start as the Bears’ No. 1 quarterback — winning without running back David Montgomery to pave the way.
Bears coach Matt Nagy confirmed Wednesday that Montgomery has a sprained knee and will “miss some time. The good news is that he’s not done for the year,” Nagy added.
Damien Williams, who suffered a quad injury against the Lions on Sunday, had full participation in practice Wednesday and is on target to start in place of Montgomery. Williams had eight carries for 55 yards (6.9 avg.) and a touchdown against the Lions. Rookie Khalil Herbert is expected to take Williams’ complementary role in the backfield.
The Bears also have injury issues on defense, as both defensive end Akiem Hicks (groin) and linebacker Khalil Mack (ribs/foot) did not practice Wednesday. Nagy did not address Hicks’ injury — or provide any hint about his status for Sunday’s game — when asked about Hicks during his press conference prior to practice Wednesday.
But safety Tashaun Gipson, who missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, practiced in full Wednesday.
Elsewhere on the injury report, wide receiver Darnell Mooney (groin) was limited in practice. Tight ends Jesse James (personal) and J.P. Holtz (quad), and linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (hamstring) did not practice.
Low key Herbert
Herbert, a sixth-round draft pick has been an intriguing player since training camp, was was unfazed by the possibility of getting more snaps on offense with Montgomery injured. He had three carries for seven yards against the Lions — his first NFL carries.
“Just gotta do my job,” he said when asked about the opportunity after Montgomery and Williams suffered injuries against the Lions. “Go out there and do my job and help my team make plays.”
Fields being named the starter was big news in Chicago, but not so much inside of Halas Hall. Asked for his reaction to the news, linebacker Alec Ogletree said, “What’s the news?
Told that Fields was the full-time starter, he said, “Oh, yeah? Congratulations.”
Herbert’s reaction was similar. “I guess unexpected,” he said. “I don’t think much of us really pay attention to that kind of stuff.”
The Goldman factor
Nose tackle Eddie Goldman, whose value generally can’t be quantified by statistics, was shut out on the stat sheet Sunday — his first regular-season game since Week 16 of the 2019 season.
But he still made an impact. Alec Ogletree seemed to benefit the most. Ogletree had 12 tackles, including one tackle-for-loss. That’s the most tackles Ogletree has had in a game since Week 6 of the 2019 season against the Patriots, when Ogletree was with the Giants.
“He ate up a lot of blocks, for sure. I think that’s how aI got the TFL,” Ogletree said. “When he [takes on two players] it’s our job to get downhill and fill those gaps. We love it because it keeps us clean. We have to make sure we’re doing our job of getting tackles, TFLs, whatever it is.”