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Bears put RB Damien Williams on reserve/COVID-19 list

Already down starting running back David Montgomery, the Bears are now without his backup heading into their game Sunday against the Packers

Damien Williams ran 16 times for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Bears’ win over the Raiders.
Damien Williams ran 16 times for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Bears’ win over the Raiders.
Chris Unger/Getty Images

The Bears are down to their third-string running back, rookie Khalil Herbert, after putting veteran Damien Williams on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday ahead of their game against the Packers.

The team is already missing starter David Montgomery, who went on injured reserve with a knee injury last week. In his absence, the Bears relied on Williams and Herbert in their 20-9 win over the Raiders. Williams ran 16 times for 64 yards and a touchdown, while Herbert ran for 75 yards on 18 carries.

Williams tested positive and is unlikely to be cleared to return by Sunday. If he is vaccinated, he will need to test negative twice (24 hours apart) before kickoff. If he is unvaccinated, he will miss a minimum of 10 days and be eligible to return no sooner than Oct. 23.

Teams are not allowed to disclose a player’s vaccination status. Williams hasn’t been asked by the media since June, when he said he was unvaccinated.

Herbert, a sixth-round pick from Virginia Tech, began the season as a special teamer. When Montgomery got hurt, the Bears traded for kick returner Jakeem Grant and moved Herbert to offense full-time. He has played 44 snaps on offense.

Ryan Nall is the only other running back on the active roster and he has five career carries in three seasons. The Bears also have Artavis Pierce on their practice squad.