LAKE FOREST – Bears running back David Montgomery will not play Sunday against the New York Giants. Montgomery has been ruled out by the team because of an ankle injury. Additionally, starting cornerback Jaylon Johnson has been ruled out because of a quad injury.
Montgomery suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter of Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans at Soldier Field. The 25-year-old running back did not return to the game.
Montgomery did not practice at all this week at Halas Hall in Lake Forest. The Bears have not placed him on injured reserve, which would indicate they expect him to be back sometimes in the next few weeks. Placing a player on IR requires a minimum absence of four weeks.
Montgomery is the featured back in the Bears’ offense under new head coach Matt Eberflus. So far this season, Montgomery has run for 159 yards on 35 carries.
In addition to Montgomery and Johnson, safety and special teamer Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) has been ruled out.
Linebacker Matt Adams (hamstring) and tight end Ryan Griffin (Achilles) are doubtful. Receiver Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring), defensive end Robert Quinn (illness), kicker Cairo Santos (personal) and linebacker Sterling Weatherford (ankle) are all listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Linebacker Roquan Smith, who had been nursing a quad injury, was a full participant in practice Friday and holds no injury designation entering Sunday’s game.
Jones, the rookie receiver, was a full participant in practice for the first time in a while on Friday. That is a positive sign toward him playing.
The Bears are short a receiver after Byron Pringle went on injured reserve this week. Jones also could factor into the return game on special teams. He appeared in only one preseason game and has yet to make his regular season debut due to the nagging hamstring injury.
“I keep communicating, make sure I’m doing what I can for this team, and that’s rehabbing and getting myself back 100% so I can give them my all on Sundays,” Jones said this week.
With Montgomery out, Bears running back Khalil Herbert is expected to step into the starting running back role. Herbert ranks seventh in the NFL with 240 rushing yards. After Montgomery left the game Sunday, Herbert totaled 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Week 3 win over Houston.
“He’s done it [before],” Eberflus said. “He’s a good player. So I think he’s an exciting guy to watch.”
Herbert powered an impressive ground game for the Bears, who rank second in the NFL in rushing yards per game.
“We put detail into everything and just knowing where the O-line’s going to be, who they’re going to [block], stuff like that helps me prepare throughout the week,” Herbert said. “So when I get in the game, it’s the same thing we’ve done in practice already.”
Rookie sixth-round draft pick Trestan Ebner should serve as Herbert’s backup and the change-of-pace back. Ebner had seven touches last week after Montgomery left the game. He also has been the team’s primary kick return man.
In New York, the Giants are without several receivers. Sterling Shepard tore his ACL on Monday night. Receivers Kadarius Toney (hamstring) and Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) have already been ruled out for Sunday as well.