Bears running back David Montgomery could return Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Montgomery, who left Team Week 3 against the Houston Texans after just three runs, was limited for the second straight practice Friday with an ankle injury. The Bears have listed Montgomery as questionable for Sunday’s game.
Cornerback Jaylon Johnson (quadruple) was also restricted on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday.
Bear coach Matt Eberflus was encouraged by what he saw of Montgomery in practice Friday.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Eberflus said. “Right now it’s listed as dodgy, so that’s pretty good. We’ll see where that leads. He moved very well in training and he looked good in training.
The Bears main running back suffered an ankle injury during the first quarter against Houston on Sept. 25. Montgomery didn’t practice all last week and returned for the first time Thursday in limited action.
Montgomery had 159 yards on 35 carries this season in the final year of his rookie contract. Khalil Herbert replaced Montgomery and leads the team with 317 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore running back rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns after Montgomery left the game against Houston and finished with 77 yards against the New York Giants on Sunday.
While Herbert did an admirable job replacing Montgomery, Eberflus was thrilled at the possibility of his top runner returning.
“He looks good and he moves good,” Eberflus said of Montgomery. “He’s got a good spirit about him and he’s got shine in his eyes, he’s excited to start.”
Defensive lineman Justin Jones (hip), linebacker Matt Adams (hamstring), tight end Ryan Griffin (achilles), cornerback Jaylon Jones (illness) and linebacker Sterling Weatherford were all participants in full on Friday after being restricted earlier in the week. Safety Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) was limited on Friday and is doubtful for Sunday.
Eberflus was hopeful about Johnson’s status after watching him practice on Friday and will see how the cornerback feels ahead of Sunday’s game. Johnson has missed the last two games with a quad injury he suffered in practice.
Eberflus said his staff will have to factor in the quick turnaround the Bears will have starting Sunday. The Bears host Washington on Thursday night.
“We take that into consideration with all of our players, but of course you have to,” Eberflus said. “You have to make sure they’re humming and going for that Sunday and always the quick turnaround is a factor.”
In the meantime, Eberflus is looking for continued growth in rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon to complete the secondary during Johnson’s absence. Opposing quarterbacks have focused on the rookie and although Eberflus said there is always competition in the positions, he is confident Gordon can learn from his experiences and use them to become better.
“He’s learning and he’s improving in those areas,” Eberflus said. “It’s a lot of experiences to have as a rookie and you have to put them in there to have those experiences. He has the talent, he wants, he wants, he is tough. It has everything it takes to succeed. »