Will The Absence Of David Montgomery Affect The Bears’ Running Game?
With the Bears focusing heavily on the running game, fans might wonder if Montgomery’s absence will affect the running game.
It’s a legitimate concern, especially with Justin Fields‘ limited number of passing yards and attempts.
Will the Bears push on without their star running back?
Chicago Has A Great Second Running Back
While Montgomery has been a workhorse for the Bears, the team has a backup RB to help them.
The next best thing in Chicago is Khalil Herbert, the team’s backup running back.
The team has seen nothing like what Herbert did in 12 years.
The last 3 instances of a Bears RB rushing for 150 yards and 2 TD in a game
Sunday Khalil Herbert (157, 2)
2010 Matt Forte (166, 2)
1979 Walter Payton (157, 3) pic.twitter.com/Txp5V86Ful
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) September 26, 2022
His 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns make him the first running back since Matt Forte in 2010 with 150+ yards and 2 TDs.
With him on the roster, the Bears are in safe hands without Montgomery.
However, was his amazing game on Sunday against the Houston Texans just a fluke, or can he shine against the Giants?
Herbert Can Shine Against A Poor Giants Run Defense
Herbert comes into his second season in the NFL with two 100+ yard rushing games in his career.
His first came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, where he rushed for exactly 100 yards.
However, he only started in two games during the 2021 season, gaining 197 yards in those two starts.
So when the team needs him as the starting running back, he shines.
While he didn’t start the game against the Texans last Sunday, he came in and dominated after filling in for the injured Montgomery.
He can do this again against a poor Giants run defense.
Dexter Lawrence says the Giants’ run defense was “unacceptable” on Monday night:
“We’ve just got to play harder and more disciplined with our techniques.” pic.twitter.com/z5Cu5zkF5g
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) September 28, 2022
With the Giants leadership knowing their run defense is “unacceptable”, it could be a chance for Herbert to expose that defense.
As he already has one 100+ yard game behind him, he can easily make it a second against the Giants.
However, what will happen to Montgomery when he returns from his injury?
Montgomery Might Be Demoted If Herbert Excels
While the Bears need Herbert to excel with Montgomery out, it could come at a price.
That price might be his starting role on the Bears’ offense.
However, it only happens if Herbert can show he’s the best running back on the roster.
While this is his time to shine, he’s still young and hasn’t had many carries in his career.
But with the 2022 season, he’s showing he can gain an insane amount of yards per carry.
Most yards per carry this season:
9.3 — Lamar Jackson
8.6 — D’Andre Swift
7.3 — Khalil Herbert
6.8 — Aaron Jones pic.twitter.com/l8lwWBqahh
— StatMuse (@statmuse) September 26, 2022
With him in the top five as a backup, it might be a matter of time before he replaces Montgomery as the new starting running back.
However, he’ll need to show he’s capable of leading a running game like he has in his previous two starts.
So while Montgomery is out, Herbert might become the fresh face of the rushing game in Chicago.
The Bears also would welcome this, as Montgomery’s contract is up soon.