We’ll start with the good news: Running back David Montgomery was a full participant in the Bears’ Thursday practice at Halas Hall. Barring a setback, he’ll play in Sunday’s season opener against the Detroit Lions only a few weeks after suffering a groin injury during a training camp practice.
Prior to practice, Montgomery talked about being cautious ahead of Week 1. But if he was able to participate in a full practice and, again, does not suffer a setback before or during Friday’s practice, he’ll play Sunday.
“I’d be hurting the team more if I was to come back earlier than I was supposed to and continue to be hurt and hurt myself again,” Montgomery said. “So I hurt the team, but I hurt myself, too. The biggest thing is being smart with myself, being smart with my body and being sure I communicate with the training staff and the coaches to let them know how I feel and taking it one day at a time.”
Now the bad news.
While Friday’s final injury report will be more telling, it looks like the Bears may be preparing to be without outside linebacker Robert Quinn to begin the 2020 season against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Quinn did not practice on Thursday, and has not been present during the portion of practice open to media since his absence was first noted Sept. 1. The 30-year-old Quinn, who signed a five-year, $70 million contract in March, officially is listed as having an ankle injury.
Coach Matt Nagy declined to offer specifics on Quinn’s status, but did say Thursday it is “unrelated to the (training camp) ramp up that he had for personal reasons.” Quinn did not participate in team portions of practice during training camp until the Bears’ scrimmage at Soldier Field Aug. 29.
The Bears signed Quinn to that massive contract – which includes $30 million guaranteed – with the goal of greatly improving their pass rush in 2020. Quinn had as many sacks in 2019 (11.5) as Leonard Floyd, whose fifth-year option was rescinded in March, had in 42 games between 2017 and 2019. The hope was that Quinn’s presence opposite Khalil Mack could free Mack from the frequently double- and triple-teams he saw in 2019, when his sack total dropped into the single digits for the first time since his rookie year.
And Mack, on Thursday, was listed as limited for the second consecutive day with a knee injury. Nagy declined to address Mack’s condition prior to Thursday’s practice. Wednesday and Thursday are the first times Mack has appeared on the Bears’ injury report since working through an ankle injury in October and November of 2018.
If Quinn (and Mack) cannot play Sunday, the Bears’ pass rush will be nowhere what they hoped, to say the least. Barkevious Mingo (10 sacks in 110 games), James Vaughters (no sacks in three games) and rookie Trevis Gipson will be the next man/men up.