David Montgomery left Bears practice on a cart Wednesday. Thankfully, Montgomery avoided a serious issue, reports indicate he is expected to miss 2-4 weeks as a result of a groin injury. Since we're just over two weeks away from Week 1 of the NFL season, this certainly could impact his availability for the start of the season. And that highlights just how thin the Bears running back room is.
Tarik Cohen is obviously the most accomplished Bears' running back, even including Montgomery. He was a top-15 running back in PPR in 2018, but he's never had even 100 carries in an NFL season. Cohen is a borderline No. 2 running back in leagues that count catches and would vault into the top-20 if Montgomery were to be unavailable for Week 1, but Cohen has only seen double digit carries four times in his career. The Bears would need someone else to tote the rock.
Cordarrelle Patterson seems like the most obvious next option. The former receiver has been working with the running backs in training camp and does have a little experience carrying the ball. Patterson had double-digit carries in back-to-back weeks as a member of the New England Patriots in 2018. While he's not a natural running back, he has good straight-line speed and is a big play threat whenever he touches the football. Patterson is a deep sleeper to consider in the double-digit rounds.
Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce are the only two other backs on the roster, so if Montgomery's absence is on the long end of the timetable or he suffers a setback, they may have to look outside of the building for help. Devonta Freeman is the top option who doesn't yet have a team but Le'Veon Bell, Leonard Fournette and Royce Freeman could possibly be available via trade for the right price. As of right now we have no reason to believe the Bears will need to trade for anyone, but it's something to keep any eye on.
This is a Bears offense that we expect to be bottom half of the league. The offensive line is not particularly good, and anyone who would fill in for Montgomery would cede passing downs to Cohen. In other words, you wouldn't want to go too crazy over any potential replacement.
As for Montgomery himself, I'm dropping him to the Round 7 range in my redraft rankings. If he's ready for Week 1, I still believe he has breakout potential and he'll be the cheapest 275-touch back in your draft.