David Montgomery came down on his head, bending his neck at an awkward angle.
It didn’t look good.
The Bears running back suffered the injury in the second quarter Sunday against the New York Giants at Soldier Field. He went airborne to try and vault over a player on the ground. As he flew over the turf, a Giants defender met him mid-air.
That proved to be Montgomery’s final play of the first half. There was some fear that he wouldn’t return at all. The team said Montgomery had sustained a neck injury, and his return was “questionable.”
But Montgomery did come back in the second half, and the Bears likely don’t beat the Giants, 17-13, without him. Montgomery had a few long runs on the Bears’ final drive of the game, including a 23-yard run that was his longest of the day.
Montgomery totaled seven touches on that 12-play drive. While the Bears didn’t score, it ate up nearly six minutes of game time.
“[The offensive line is] being way more aggressive,” Montgomery said. “And it's a lot of less thinking. It's definitely an exciting thing that we know we can run the ball when we have to, and now you're having to run the ball and running it because we want to. It's definitely an exciting feeling."
Added Nagy: “I liked that part of the offense in regards to being able to run the football.”
Nagy didn’t like that the Bears failed to score on the drive. Kicker Cairo Santos missed a 50-yard field goal attempt.
Montgomery finished his day with 82 rushing yards on 16 carries. His biggest play of the day was a 28-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Mitch Trubisky in the first quarter.
Montgomery leaked out to the right side of the play as Trubisky was about to tuck it and run himself. The quarterback pulled up and tossed to an open Montgomery, who scampered his way back across the middle of the field to the end zone.
“I just extended the play with my feet and drew a linebacker out of coverage,” Trubisky said. “David did a great job staying alive and then the run after the catch was incredible. We gotta keep making plays like that.”
Montgomery averaged 5.1 yards per carry Sunday. The Bears totaled 135 yards on the ground.