Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery runs with the ball training camp practice last week at Halas Hall in Lake Forest.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery runs with the ball training camp practice last week at Halas Hall in Lake Forest.

The Bears are facing their first big setback of training camp after running back David Montgomery suffered a groin injury during practice Wednesday.

Head coach Matt Nagy confirmed it was a groin injury, but did not have any further details.

"We don’t know the severity," Nagy said.

The injury was a non-contact injury. Montgomery slipped and fell while taking a handoff during practice. He walked off the field under his own power before riding a cart back to the team facility, which is a considerable distance away.

Montgomery had come into camp a few pounds lighter and feeling faster after changing his diet over the offseason. The team brought in a new offensive coaching staff with the purpose of reworking the run game to more effectively complement Nagy’s passing attack.

By all accounts, Montgomery is poised for a big year.

"I love his ceiling," Nagy said. "They don’t make many guys the way they make David Montgomery. He’s a special player."

If the injury sets Montgomery out for any length of time, the team could be looking for more options at running back. The Bears have been working out five players at running back during training camp: Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce.

Those four backs besides Montgomery totaled only 83 carries in 2019.

Montgomery, 23, emerged as the team’s top back as a rookie last season, rushing for 889 yards and six touchdowns on 242 carries. He also caught 25 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown.

Cohen was used much more as a pass catcher than a true running back, and only rushed for 3.3 yards per carry when he did take handoffs. Cohen had 213 rushing yards on 64 carries, with no touchdowns in 2019.

Patterson is a converted receiver and kick returning specialist who carried the ball 17 times last year for the Bears. Only one season in his career did he have more carries (42 with the Patriots in 2018).

"There’s certain things that are their strengths vs. what David does," Nagy said. "We all know that."

Nall is a third-year player who the Bears seem to like. He was on the practice squad most of last season before being promoted in Week 10. He carried the ball just twice last year for eight yards. The Bears signed Pierce as an undrafted rookie this spring out of Oregon State.

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