Sun. set? No word yet on Mont­gomery

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - JA­SON LIESER, STAFF RE­PORTER jlieser@sun­times.com | @Ja­sonLieser Con­tribut­ing: Pa­trick Fin­ley

The Bears re­main optimistic about run­ning back David Mont­gomery’s groin in­jury, but it re­mains un­clear whether he’ll be able to play in the opener Sun­day.

Mont­gomery was at prac­tice Sun­day after­noon, but the ex­tent to which he par­tic­i­pated is un­known be­cause it was closed to the me­dia. The Bears pro­vided a re­port that listed out­side line­backer Robert Quinn and cor­ner­back Kyle Fuller as the only play­ers not in at­ten­dance.

Coach Matt Nagy in­sisted on keep­ing in­jury news pri­vate to hin­der the Lions’ prepa­ra­tion, de­spite the fact that he’s re­quired by the NFL to give specifics start­ing Wed­nes­day.

“I’ll talk to you on Wed­nes­day about [Mont­gomery], but we do feel good with our run­ning back room right now,” he said.

The orig­i­nal timetable had him re­turn­ing as early as the opener or, at the worst, miss­ing two games. So it’s pos­si­ble that Nagy’s good vibes about his run­ning backs re­ally means he feels fine patch­ing it to­gether with Tarik Co­hen and Cor­dar­relle Pat­ter­son.

Mont­gomery fig­ures to be one of the team’s top play­mak­ers this sea­son, per­haps sec­ond only to wide re­ceiver Allen Robin­son.

He had 1,074 yards of of­fense (889 rush­ing) as a rookie and tied Robin­son for the team lead with seven touch­downs.

Quinn, Fuller con­cerns

With Nagy’s post-prac­tice news con­fer­ence dom­i­nated by quar­ter­back talk, he did not ad­dress the ab­sence of Quinn and Fuller.

Those are two of the most im­por­tant play­ers on the de­fense, and Quinn missed sig­nif­i­cant time through­out pre­sea­son prac­tices as coaches said he was “ramp­ing up” on his own. Fuller was fine in the pre­sea­son; it’s pos­si­ble the Bears just gave him a vet­eran’s day off.

The Bears signed Quinn to a five-year, $70 mil­lion con­tract think­ing he could vault their pass rush to the top of the league when teamed with Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks. He had 11oe sacks for the Cow­boys last sea­son.

Ed­wards ar­riv­ing soon

The Bears will make at least one more ros­ter move to ac­com­mo­date the sign­ing of for­mer Saints de­fen­sive line­man Mario Ed­wards, a source said. Ed­wards played 14 games as a backup last sea­son and was cut at the dead­line. He has not been a starter since 2017.

The team could make room for Ed­wards by cut­ting an­other player or putting some­one on in­jured re­serve. The NFL has a three-game IR op­tion this sea­son, mak­ing moves like that eas­ier than they typ­i­cally would be.

Prac­tice squad set

The prac­tice squad is more in­ter­est­ing and sig­nif­i­cant than usual this sea­son. The NFL ex­panded it to 16 play­ers, and teams can pro­tect four each week. That makes it sim­pler to plan on adding a player to the ac­tive ros­ter if there’s an in­jury con­cern.

The key play­ers brought back were quar­ter­back Tyler Bray, run­ning back Ar­tavis Pierce, kicker Cairo San­tos and of­fen­sive line­man Lachavi­ous Sim­mons.

They also signed vet­eran guard Ja­mon Brown, who started nine games for the Fal­cons last sea­son. He is the only prac­tice-squad player who wasn’t with the Bears in the pre­sea­son.

Run­ning back Adrian Peter­son re­port­edly agreed to a one-year, $1.05 mil­lion con­tract that in­cludes in­cen­tives with the Lions.

The 35-year-old Peter­son was re­leased by Wash­ing­ton on Fri­day af­ter spend­ing the last two sea­sons there.

He has rushed for 14,216 yards in 13 sea­sons, mostly with the Vikings, and is 1,053 yards be­hind Lions great Barry San­ders for fourth on the NFL ca­reer rush­ing list.

The Lions have strug­gled re­cently to de­velop a con­sis­tent run­ning game. Ker­ryon John­son showed promise but has dealt with in­jury prob­lems. He led the team last sea­son with only 403 yards rush­ing.

Steel­ers give Hey­ward big ex­ten­sion

Steel­ers All-Pro de­fen­sive line­man Cameron Hey­ward re­port­edly agreed to a fouryear, $65.6 mil­lion ex­ten­sion.

The new deal has him with the Steel­ers for five years and $75.1 mil­lion and makes him the league’s high­est-paid de­fen­sive player over 30 based on yearly av­er­age.

Hey­ward, 31, who is a 2011 first-round draft pick, is en­ter­ing his 10th sea­son with the Steel­ers af­ter a nine-sack, Pro Bowl sea­son. A starter for the last seven sea­sons, Hey­ward has 54 ca­reer sacks and 117 quar­ter­back hits.

Bucs sign QB Rosen to prac­tice squad

The Buccaneers signed quar­ter­back Josh

Rosen to their prac­tice squad af­ter he was re­leased by the Dol­phins on Fri­day.

Rosen started three games last sea­son for the Dol­phins, com­plet­ing 53% of his passes for 567 yards with one touch­down and five in­ter­cep­tions. He will join a quar­ter­back group with Tom Brady, Blaine Gab­bert and Ryan Grif­fin.

Ea­gles sign Mc­Cown as emer­gency QB

The Ea­gles signed for­mer Bears quar­ter­back Josh Mc­Cown to their prac­tice squad as in­sur­ance in case one or more of their quar­ter­backs tests pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus, league sources told ESPN.

The 41-year-old, who be­comes the old­est prac­tice-squad player in NFL his­tory, played three games for the Ea­gles last sea­son. His last start was with the Jets two sea­sons ago.

More QB news

Quar­ter­back Josh Dobbs re­united with the Steel­ers a day af­ter he failed to make the 53-man ros­ter with the Jaguars. To make room for him, the Steel­ers waived quar­ter­back Devlin “Duck” Hodges.

Nin­ers WR Sa­muel might play in opener

Nin­ers gen­eral man­ager John Lynch said start­ing re­ceiver Deebo Sa­muel “has a shot” to play in the sea­son opener af­ter be­ing side­lined all sum­mer by a bro­ken foot.

AP

Run­ning back David Mont­gomery was at prac­tice Sun­day, but coach Matt Nagy wouldn’t say if he will play in the opener.

AP

Adrian Peter­son is 1,053 yards be­hind Lions great Barry San­ders for fourth on the NFL ca­reer rush­ing list.

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