The Bears’ starting lineups, already riddled with injuries this season and offseason, took two more hits in Sunday’s 22-20 win over the Oakland Raiders when center Will Montgomery went down with what was initially diagnosed as a broken fibula, and safety Antrel Rolle followed later with an ankle injury that also has his status uncertain for next week’s game in Kansas City against the Chiefs.
Montgomery was on crutches in the locker room after the game, his lower left leg already encased in a hard cast.
“Early calls on that are that it is a broken fibula,” said coach John Fox. “We had to juggle two guys in there after Montgomery went out.”
The issue for the Bears now, after a seemingly endless litany of woes on the offensive line, is whether to elevate rookie third-rounder Hroniss Grasu into the starting lineup, or to stay with Matt Slauson, the team’s best guard, at center and Omameh at left guard.
The injury to Rolle left the Bears with two rookies staffing their deep secondary – fourth-round pick Adrian Amos and Harold Jones-Quartey, waived this offseason by Arizona.
Rolle was able to return to the sidelines in the second half and get his first taste of coaching in what proved to be a critical situation. “If I can’t play, I gotta be good for something, right” Rolle said, managing a smile.
“That was extremely important to be, to be out there with my guys,” Rolle said. “It hurts me that I couldn’t be suited up with them but as long as my presence was there, as long as I could give them insight as to what I would be thinking, I think they played outstanding. Harold had to go in there in my place and I think he did an exceptional job. Adrian kept him in line and those guys just fighting, pushing.”
Amos has started all four games this season but Jones-Quartey, before Sunday, had played just 32 snaps on special teams, zero on defense. He moved up the depth chart this week when the Bears cut safety Brock Vereen.
On Sunday, he had the benefit of Rolle as a personal assistant.
“He gave me a couple things, to watch the play-action, things like that,” said Jones-Quartey. “He was very supportive on the sideline, coaching me up so I could do what I can to help the team win.”