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Bears Twitter mailbag: What happens at RB if David Montgomery gets hurt?

While the Bears conduct their offseason business online, the Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley — who can be found @patrickfinley — answers your Bears questions from Twitter.

Kansas City Chiefs v Chicago Bears
Bears returner/receiver Cordarrelle Patterson smiles during warmups before the Chiefs game.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

While the Bears conducting their offseason business online, the Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley — who can be found @patrickfinley — answers your Bears questions from Twitter:

They say they’re set, but they’re in an interesting spot. The No. 2 running back on the Bears depth chart is really a receiver. And the man I’d pick to start if Montgomery ever got hurt is a receiver who might really be a running back.

Confused?

I don’t think Tarik Cohen could — or should — be the every-down back in case of a Montgomery injury. He’s too valuable as the team’s pass-catching “Joker” back. Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, though, is a player who could run between the tackles 10-12 times per game if Montgomery got hurt. General manager Ryan Pace said earlier this offseason the Bears were talking about “sprinkling” Patterson in on some run plays.

Otherwise, Ryan Nall would get the nod, followed by two undrafted rookies.

Anyone who plays fantasy football knows that running back is a position that NFL teams fill on the fly during the season, if need be. The Bears will keep an eye on veterans who get cut during camps, and figure to work others out during the season.

Ginn, when you consider that he’ll take over the speed role that was vacated when the Bears cut Taylor Gabriel. The Bears’ three most common personnel groupings last year featured the same three receivers on the field together — Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Gabriel — alongside one tight end and one running back.

Using that logic, fifth-round pick Darnell Mooney, the speedster from Tulane, should be in the conversation — he and Ginn play the same position.

Robertson-Harris is the exception, not the rule, as most undrafted free agents don’t make it to Sundays. The Bears signed Robertson-Harris in 2016 as an outside linebacker and redshirted him because of a medical condition. He put on weight to become a significant force at defensive end.

Picking the next long shot isn’t an easy exercise. But I’d watch Duke defensive lineman Trevon McSwain — the man who will be in charge of him, defensive line coach Jay Rodgers, is one of the best in the NFL at getting the most out of his players.

It would probably take an unmitigated disaster — more embarrassing quarterback play, head-scratching play-calling and a season with, say, six or fewer wins — for the Bears to consider Nagy a problem.

Since 1945, two Bears coaches have posted a better winning percentage than Nagy’s .625 — George Halas and Mike Ditka. Nagy’s bosses remain impressed with the way he leads the team.

It’s hard to argue with paying safety Tashaun Gipson the veteran minimum in 2020, one year after the Texans signed him to a three-year, $22 million contract.

The worst value? The Bears are paying $5.75 million in dead cap money to tight end Trey Burton, who will play for the Colts in 2020. That number would have been even higher had the Bears not designated him a post-June 1 cut, which spreads the cap hit over two seasons.