When the Packers’ defense last played Sunday in a 40-33 loss to the Eagles, it gave up 363 rushing yards, 13 shy of the Eagles’ 74-year-old rushing record.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and running back Miles Sanders combined for 300 yards — a number that must echo through the heads of Bears players as they prepare to face their rivals Sunday at Soldier Field.
No team has rushed for more yards — per game or per carry — than the Bears have this season. The Packers have given up the most rushing yards and the fourth-most per carry.
But running back David Montgomery didn’t want to sound too excited.
“We’re just going to play our game to the best of our ability and play with the HITS principle [hustle, intensity, takeaways and smarts] and carry ourselves in the manner that’s going to win this game,” he said.
That probably will be on the ground. Last Sunday against the Jets, Montgomery ran for 79 yards, his second-highest total this season, on 14 carries. His 67 rushing yards a week earlier against the Falcons tied his third-best total this year.
Even late in the Jets blowout, Montgomery was plowing through defenders.
“It’s just who I am — any opportunity I get to perform and play the game I love playing,” he said.
Coach Matt Eberflus said Montgomery “was a big part of the plays we did well” against the Jets.
Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari had his appendix removed Friday and will miss Sunday’s game. Bakhtiari tweeted that he woke up Friday thinking he’d strained his abdomen, mentioned it to his team doctor and soon found himself in surgery.
He was limited to 27 snaps last year while recovering from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament that required three surgeries. He missed the Bears game earlier this season but has appeared in nine games since.
Bears right tackle Riley Reiff is likely to play after participating fully in practice Friday. Reiff, who left the Jets game with a back injury, is the honorary captain this week. His backup, Larry Borom, was ruled out with an ankle/knee injury.
About 10 p.m. Tuesday, while watching a Christ-mas movie, quarterback Tim Boyle got a phone call from his agent telling him the Bears were claiming him off the Lions’ practice squad. Four hours later, he awoke to catch a 5 a.m. flight from Detroit to Chicago.
Boyle, who’ll be the third-stringer, knows the Bears’ offense. He appeared in 11 games for the Packers in 2019-20 while Luke Getsy, now the Bears’ offensive coordinator, was on staff.
He’ll spend the bye week back in Detroit to get his car and move out of his house.
“The first 24 hours were hectic,” he said. “But being a quarterback is being able to roll with the punches and be flexible.”
This and that
Cornerback Kindle Vildor is questionable with an ankle injury but practiced in full Friday. Receiver Dante Pettis, who had been sick since Sunday, also practiced fully and will play.
• Packers safety Darnell Savage is doubtful with a foot injury.